The wine of the people

Posted on: 3rd August, 2017

Category: The Wine Buff

Contributor: West Cork People

Tony Eklof, originally from New England, has settled in Clonakilty after a career as a librarian at University College Dublin. His knowledge and passion for wine has been inspired by frequent visits to the wine growing regions of the continent, particularly Italy and France.

Readers will be aware that I am fond of the wines of the Piedmont in northern Italy. I wrote about Dolcetto, ‘the little sweet one’ recently, and today our attention turns to wines from the Barbera grape, which along with Sangiovese, is the most widely planted variety in all of Italy, (52,600 acres!)

Wines made from Barbera tend to be overshadowed by those from the Nebbiolo grape, which yields the more weighty and famous Barolo and Barbaresco, known as the King and Queen of Piedmontese wines. And yet there is a place for Barbera, in fact it is know as the ‘wine of the people’ because of its relative affordability and easy drinking qualities. Barbera is meant to be drunk young unlike Barolo and Barbaresco, which need to be carefully aged in order to lose their bitterness.

Traditionally Italians in the northeast of the country in the area, which historically belonged to the Savoyards, would drink Barbera to accompany the local cuisine while saving wines made from Nebbiolo for special occasions.

Oz Clark sums Barbera up as ‘an all around great food wine.’ Low in tannins and bright in acidity the wine pairs well with meats, cheese, mushrooms and is a great pizza wine!

Dark in colour, but light in texture, Barbera tastes of cherry, strawberry, violets and lavender. The best growing areas are near the famous towns of Alba and Asti with the latter possibly producing the finest silky examples.

Barbera has been around for a long time, the first mention of plantings were some 1,000 years before mention of Cabernet Sauvignon! The grape is increasingly found in other parts of Italy such as neighbouring Lombardy and

Puglia in the deep south, also grown in California, Australia and Argentina.

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Dunmanway Historical Association regrets to announce that the talk on Sile na Gig which was to take place on Thursday, 24th August in Atkins hall @ 8:30pm has been cancelled. ... See MoreSee Less

18th August, 2017  ·  

This year Wild Atlantic Tag sponsored by Marine Harvest will take place in Adrigole on Saturday August 5th. All are welcome, whether you are a team entry or an individual looking to join a team. The teams will be divided into two sections, Social & Seriously Social! Please contact Sean (0879568363) or Joey (0879865827) to register. It promises to be great craic with plenty of refreshments available pre and post-match! Fantastic local musician Eoghan McEllhenny will entertain the rugby masses from 4.30pm followed by Peadar O’Callaghan and renowned Natural Gas will round off the night from 9.30pm! ... See MoreSee Less

14th July, 2017  ·  

A woodland walk will take place on the 22nd June at 7pm in Glengarriff Nature Reserve. This is a great opportunity to learn about woodlands, their plants and wildlife and is an opportunity not to be missed. Glengarriff Nature Reserve was designated as a Nature reserve in 1991, and covers over 300 acres in size. It is a beautiful and unique woodlands containing many different habitats and is owned and managed by NPWS primarily for conservation and amenity purposes. The event is led by National Parks Ranger Clare Heardman and has been organised by Cork Nature Network For further information please contact events@corknaturenetwork.ie ... See MoreSee Less

19th June, 2017  ·  

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