What to Drink Now

Episode VIII: Fruity Reds


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In a way, Barbera’s fruitiness is similar to Merlot’s. Unencumbered by significant tannin, the deep berry/cherry fruit of Barbera us supported by the grape’s lip-smacking acidity, which can be the wine’s Achilles heel as well. When not fully ripened, that lip-smacking turns into gum-cutting, and bad Barbera is like drinking sour cherry-flavored glass. But most producers have figured out the tricks to Barbera by now.

In particular, New World producers have found that Barbera’s ability to retain acidity even in warm regions is a huge asset. You might even want to consider replacing some (most) of the Napa Valley floor Cabernet with Barbera. You could even keep the oak barrels since Barbera can use some of the tannins they supply! That oak might actually get in the way of some folks’ enjoyment of the richly fruity side of Barbera, in which case I suggest you try some…

Photo courtesy tiddfamily via Flickr/CC

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  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    almost 40 years ago I read that Gamay and Gamay Beaujolais are not the same grape. What is the current thinking about the DNA of these two?

    Oct 11, 2011 at 7:08 AM

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