Grab an assortment of Italian meats and cheeses and a bottle of Barbera (bar-BEH-rah) and you’ve just created a perfect menu for any casual get together. Barbera is one of my go-to pizza wines, I always keep a few bottles in the house for take-out night.  Barbera is a grape varietal from the Piedmont region of Italy and tends to have vibrant fruit characteristics of mixed berries, cherry and plum with floral notes of violet, high acidity and mellow tannins.  Many red wines from this region tend to boast high tannins, but Barbera has more of a laid back personality which makes it a versatile wine that generally drinks best when young and pairs beautifully with an array of menu items from eggplant parmesan to pizza to pasta carbonara! Barbera also tends to be one of the best values at your local Italian eatery. If you can’t find a Barbera, opt for a Chianti Classico or Vino Nobile.

Recommended Producers 

Damilano Barbera d’Asti (SRP: $16)
Pio Cesare Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy (SRP: $20)
La Spinetta 2011 Barbera d’Asti Ca Di Pian (SRP: $22)