Pronounced - bar BEAR ah

History: Barbera is the most widely grown red wine grape of Italy, and the variety was known to exist in the thirteenth century. It is believed to have originated in Piedmont near Monferrato and then spread through the rest of Italy and then to California

Description: Versatile red, good acidity

Taste/Aromas: The juice has a good colour, high levels of acid and tannin, with a fruity, floral nose and a distinctive varietal palate

Regions: There are only small plantings in Australia, though it has been grown for approximately 25 years in the Mudgee region of New South Wales, with later plantings in the King Valley and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Cellaring: While the wine produced is usually drunk early it will also age well. Barbera is used in Italy to make dry red wines and also sweet red and sparkling red wines. Most valuable as a blending wine.

Food: Pizza, burgers, barbecue, sausages, salamis and other foods with higher fat content for the smaller wines. For the bigger wines: savory stews with root vegetables, roasted cuts of beef and venison, grilled wild mushrooms and hard, aged sharp cheeses including Parmiggiano and Asiago. For the rosés: enjoy as an aperitivo or match with simply prepared (even raw) shellfish and, sushi.