If you are reading this early enough, feel to join the group for a live Twitter chat. We'll be live on Saturday, March 6th at 8am Pacific time. Just follow the hashtag - #ItalianFWT - and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. In the meantime, all of these posts will go live before Saturday. Cin cin!
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Cheesy Bites, a Colorful Board, and a Barbera...from California
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm: Italian Grapes Grown Outside of Italy and Served Out of a Box? Che Diamine!!!
- Andrea at The Quirky Cork: Tuscany Meets Turkey with Chateau Murou Montepulciano Sangiovese
- Jeff at FoodWineClick!: Italian Grapes from Unti Vineyards at the Winter Grill
- Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: A Splendid Cal-Ital: 2016 Giornata Nebbiolo Luna Matta Vineyard
- Jennifer at Vino Travels: Remy Wines: Italian Grapes in Oregon and a Winery After my Heart
- Terri at Our Good Life: Italian Grapes in Lodi Paired with Grilled Salmon Tacos
- Nicole at Somm’s Table: 2 Italian White Wine Blends Born in California
- Gwendolyn at Wine Predator: Italy in California: from Aglianico to Zinfandel and Italy in California: Nebbiolo from Humboldt's Terragena and Santa Barbara’s Silver
- Susannah at Avvinare: Vermentino, A Star In and Out of Italy
- Lynn at Savory the Harvest: Honoring An Italian American: Palmina Wines in Santa Barbara County
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass: Native Italian grapes find a home in the land of Pinot Noir
I have always loved Barbera, but until I found this bottle, I have only ever had Barbera from Italy! Two years ago - back in March 2019 for #ItalianFWT - I posted Braised Short Ribs + 2016 Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato. And I've even poured and paired a Barbera blend from Israel in Peppered Brisket, Honeyed Onions, and the 2016 Galil Mountain 'Ela'.
In Italy, Barbera is cultivated in the Piedmont area - the same region renowned for the Nebbiolo grape variety and the Barolo and Barbaresco wines that come from the Nebbiolo grape. But the wines from the Barbera grape are much more affordable. I haven't come up with a reason for that yet. However, it means that Barbera can easily be an everyday sipper. And though usually very intensely colored, Barbera is surprisingly light in taste. Because it's also usually low in tannins and high in acidity, it's a perfect match for the richness of cheeses and meat dishes.
This Barbera from Boeger Winery which is a historical estate that was homesteaded during the 1849 California Gold Rush. Like many who headed to California in the middle of the 19th century the Fossati-Lombardo family arrived to try their luck in the gold mines. But they quickly realized that the real money was to be made in selling foods and supplies to the miners versus doing the actual mining themselves. Later all of the wineries in the county were shuttered during Prohibition. But in 1972, Greg and Sue Boeger discovered the property and decided to become the first post-Prohibition winery in the El Dorado AVA.
Boeger began to experiment by pioneering lesser-known varieties such as Barbera, Carignane, Refosco, Charbono, and Aglianico though there are now nearly three dozen varieties that they grow. This wine is made from grapes grown at vineyards that sit over half a mile above sea level. On the nose, you get a berry patch of aromas from strawberry to blackberry. But on the palate, the wine is much more balanced and soft with generous acidity that makes it a beautiful partner with a variety of flavors.
I can't wait to track down more of the Boeger wines. And when the world opens back up - Vafanculo, COVID! - I might just head up the El Dorado county for a wine-tasting adventure. It's only a few hours from where I live and on the way to Lake Tahoe. I miss traveling, don't you?
Well, that's a wrap on our Italian wines grown outside of Italy event for the #ItalianFWT group. We'll be back next month as Katarina of Grapevine Adventures leads the discussion of wines from Lazio. And, in May, I'm excited to see what the group shares when the focus will be Barbera. Stay tuned....