By K.L. Riley
This week I had the pleasure of drinking a Barbera d’Asti from La Spinetta vineyards out of piedmont Italy. Any time I am able to enjoy an Italian wine I consider it a special occasion and this time was no different. Just in case you are not familiar with Italian wines, Barbera is the grape varietal and Asti is the area in Piedmont where the grapes are grown. This region is located in the extreme northwest of Italy and exceedingly mountainous. Thus grapes that are grown in this region have a tendency to be very concentrated and very lush. This particular Barbera is very subtle with various layers and aromas that will keep your nose in the glass until the wine is finished. The bouquet is very familiar with candied cherry notes and a light nutty quality. Underneath there is the slightest hint of nutmeg and vanilla. Before my lips touched the wine I was craving earthly cheeses to compliment the aromas, and if that wasn’t enough the palate was equally as suggestive. I have really grown to appreciate old world wines for various reasons, one of those is that the tannins are different than, let’s say, California cabernets. Not to be misunderstood, I love a great cabernet, but there is something sexier about old world tannins.
They come to you in the form of dryness with light spice which makes old world wines more food friendly and this wine is a great example. La Spinetta has a dryness that lightly coats your mouth allowing room for food to compliment it without overpowering your taste buds. This wine also craves food and your hands will automatically seek the nearest cheese plate so that you can enjoy the aromas and textures to their fullest capacity.
La Spinetta wines aren’t entirely the easiest to find so when you do happen to come across one DO NOT HESITATE!!! Buy it and then proceed to the nearest store for cheese and enjoy. The price point on this wine is surprisingly cheap which is always good on the wallet.
La Spinetta Barbera D’asti should run you around sixty dollars in a restaurant and about fifteen in the store.
La Spinetta winery also features different varietals as well so if you happen to come across one, write me and tell me if you enjoyed it or not.