Barbera with BBQ

Summer is officially here and the season of picnics, BBQ and outdoor cooking begins in earnest. What drink to pair with grilled salmon, smoked chiken or roasted tomatoes?

Barbera! This prolific vinifera grape orginates from the Italian Northwest in the Piedmonte. It produces a wine low in tannins, and high in acidity even when fully ripe; so it is prized in warm climates like Piedmonte, Eastern Washington and the San Joaquin Valley. In Italy, if it’s a DOC or DOCG then Alba, Asti and Monferrato are the names you’ll find on the label after Barbera.

To me, Barbera is the wine to have with fresh tomatoes sprinkled with Gorgonzola, balsamic, olive oil and torn basil.

It’s also a magical BBQ moment especially with most cuts of meat that have a sweet, smoky tomato based bbq sauce like ribs, chicken, and juicy burgers.