The biggest champion of Barbera was the late, great Giacomo Bologna of Braida in Barbera d’Asti territory. His “Bricco dell’Uccellone” was as big a leap as Gaja’s Cabernet “Darmagi” at the time. Braida, a Barbera specialist, also produces “Montebruna,” a young, easygoing Barbera with bright, pure fruit, round and soft on the palate, and just enough tannins to give it some grip. the 2011 Montebruna is almost violet in color. It comes from a vineyard in Rochetta Tanaro and is lighthearted enough for pasta dishes. But with its palate-cleansing acidity, it’s ideal with charcuterie or salumi. Open up a bottle for some grilled sausages or pork chops. Or to enjoy with cheese after the meal.
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Price: $20 to $25
Style: Soft and round
What it goes with: Salumi, grilled sausages, pork chops, pasta dishes, cheese