As an example of suave modern Barbera, this one has it all: gorgeous fruit and a taste of black cherries along with a with beautiful touch of new French oak. It's on the same level as high-end Barberas from Altare, Coppo and Vietti, but considerably less expensive. Because Barbera is lighter in tannins than many reds, it makes perfect summer drinking. Go ahead, pour a glass of it for a diehard Merlot fan; this delicious velvety red just might turn his or her head. It's a wine you can't stop sipping.
About $20. Available at Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey, (310) 306-2822; Wally's in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606; Wine House in Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731; Red Carpet in Glendale, (818) 247-5544; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (714) 650-8463; and Vintage Wines in San Diego (858) 549-2112