This weekend we return to Piemonte to taste the Barbera D’Alba DOC from the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Seghesio. Piemonte is the second largest of Italy’s twenty regions and is considered the gem in the crown of Italian winemaking. After leaving the Alps in the west and south, you reach the verdant hills of the Po River Valley with views of neat rows of grapes in every direction. Like Tuscany, the area is dotted with small towns and castles and wine pilgrims making their way from tasting to tasting, for the area is blessed with almost perfect conditions for growing grapes-the fog descends from the mountains and covers the vines like a soft blanket so the grapes can reach their full potential.
Piemonte’s stars are, of course, Barolo and Barbaresco and while they preen in their UN World Heritage Site’s vineyards, Barbera modestly enjoys being Piemonte’s everyday wine for its being one of the five most planted grapes and the third most common indigenous grape in Italy. Italy has over 500 indigenous wines and 175 “everyday” wines (what a country!).There are many DOC Barberas but the most well known is the Barbara d’Alba we are tasting.
Seghesio’s 10 hectare vineyard is planted with seven red grape varieties and one white grape variety and is located in the heart of the famed Langhe area, in Monforte d’Alba. Founder Ettore Seghesio planted his first grapes, Nebbiolo, in 1964 and the estate is now managed by his son and grandchildren. Their Barbera d’Alba is my go-to red wine for Piazza’s pizza, meatballs with fresh fettuccine or lasagna.I like its notes of red fruits and flowers, fruity and fresh taste-perfetto to make your everyday meal an occasion-for only $17.95 a bottle!
Many of you share my preference since I restock it several times a week but if you have not yet tasted it, come join me Friday from noon to 5:45 and Saturday from noon to 4:45. Today, Piazza’s entrees include mini pizzas, pasta bolognese, handmade gnocchi (my fave which I enhance with sausage and mushrooms) and calabrese pork lasagne. Enjoy any of these with a bottle of Barbera, sit back and enjoy a reprise of Stanley Tucci’s Piemonte episode!
Jennifer Martella has pursued dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. She has reestablished her architectural practice for residential and commercial projects and is a referral agent for Meredith Fine Properties. Her Italian heritage led her to Piazza Italian Market, where she hosts wine tastings every Friday and Saturday afternoons.