The world’s most food-friendly grape: Barbera (goes great with Thanksgiving)
Above: Every year, wine lovers in the U.S. face the same conundrum. What to pair with Thanksgiving turkey? The answer for the ages is “Barbera, the world’s most food-friendly wine grape.”
There’s a saying that you’ll often hear repeated in Italy among wine and food lovers.
No wine without food and no food without wine.
Indeed, you’ll never be seated at lunch or dinner in Italy without there being wine on the table.
And you’ll never sit down to a glass of wine without at least some food — even just a nosh — served to accompany it.
In fact, Italians hold that wine is food (and in another era, wine was an essential source of nutrients in rural areas, especially during cold winter months when fresh fruit and vegetables weren’t readily available).
Of all the myriad food-friendly red grapes in Italy, Barbera — particularly in the north of the country — is arguably the most popular and the one most commonly found in Italians’ homes.
With its bright fruit flavors, freshness, and crisp mouthfeel, it’s not a stretch to call it the most food-friendly wine in the world.
And that’s why Mazzoni winemaker Alessandro Bindocci believes that it’s also the best wine to serve at the Thanksgiving feast.
There are so many different flavors at the traditional Thanksgiving meal in the U.S.: savory, sweet, and tart.
A wine with too much tannin will overpower many of the Thanksgiving foods.
And a wine without enough acidity will be overwhelmed by the variety of flavors.
Barbera has just the right balance of gentle, smooth tannin and freshness of flavor to go with just about anything your relatives may serve up.
The bottom line is that Alessandro created this wine — sourced from top vineyards in Italy’s northwest — because he wanted a clean, focused, and utterly delicious red wine to serve in his own home in Tuscany (where the wines tend to fall on the heavier side).