Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wine Blogging Wednesday #54: Piedmont

Welcome to Wine Blogging Wednesday 54, the monthly online tasting event dreamed up many moons ago by Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours.

This month our host is David McDuff, who blogs about food and wine at McDuff's Food and Wine Trail. For his theme he picked the wines of Italy's Piedmont region. I was thrilled, since GWU$20 will be focusing on Piedmont as part of my ongoing Italian wine project, and this way I get to learn a lot from other wine bloggers before I start my own journey into the grapes of the region.

Piedmont is second only to Tuscany in terms of its high international reputation among wine lovers, and many serious collectors prefer the wines of Piedmont because of their subtlety and finesse. Because wines from the Piedmont are coveted, they are also costly--but there are varieties (such as Barbera) that often make their way into less expensive bottlings.

To get a sneak peak of what's in store for me next month, I looked through my cellar and found a bottle of Barbera, the Piedmont's fruity, drinkable grape. What I discovered was that the 2006 Stefano Farina Barbera d'Alba, was not so fruit-forward at this stage of its life. But perhaps it was the better for it. ($8.95, Chronicle Wine Cellar; available elsewhere for $9-$13).

The wine had aromas of plum and tobacco, which already told me that this was going to be a wine that was better with food. The plums were present in the flavors, as well, and the tobacco turned towards something more reminiscent of black tea. There was abundant acidity at the center of the wine, and an herbal, plummy aftertaste.

Because of the wine's acidity and herbal, tobacco, and black tea flavors it was excellent with a tomatoey pasta dish, Strozzapreti with Tomato-Pancetta sauce. Accented by herbs and cheese, the dish really made the wine shine. Even better, it's quick to prepare so it's a perfect meal when you want something hot and comforting after a long day at work.

This may not be the most complex Barbera you'll ever drink but it's held up well in the year I've had it and I think it will continue to drink well for the rest of 2009. (note: the label is from a much earlier vintage, but it was all I had since I threw the bottle away before I snapped a picture!)

Thanks to David for a great theme, and I look forward to reading everyone's posts about wines from the Piedmont.


jason said...

Been a long time watcher of your WBW adventures and after months of intending to I finally to join you with my Piedmont from the Bargain Bin post. Just wanted to say thanks for always bringing new things to our attention!


Andy said...

Very nice blogging.... really i enjoyed reading your article...

David McDuff said...

Thanks for participating, Deb. I think your choice is one of the few to break the under $10 barrier.