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Spirits Week

The Perfect Wine?

It's known as the house wine of Italy's Piedmont region. A rustic red made from grapes that were often planted on the cooler, less desirable plots of land. But Barbera could be the best wine you've likely never heard of. It's naturally high in acidity and low in tannins. It's got a deep, ruby red color, a silky texture and a soft, fruit forward flavor with just enough muscle to feel substantial. For years, it was something of a secret ingredient in the production of the region's more respected Barolo—added to give the wine a bit more color and body. But now this crowd-pleasing vino is coming out from behind the shadows of the Italian hillside and enjoying a moment of its own. The charm of a Barbera is that it's a no-worry, workhorse kind of a wine. They can be consumed very young because of the lack of tannins (which means you don't have to worry about the vintage) and thanks to the acidity and moderate alcohol, they pair well with nearly any food. What's more, since the ripe fruit flavors are generous and not overpowered by a lot of unnecessary oak, even those who say they don't like red wines can enjoy it. Best of all, you can get a great bottle for less than 30 bucks.

How to Serve It

Get the most out of your wine by drinking it at the ideal temperature. Most reds are often served too warm, and an acidic variety like Barbera benefits from being served a bit colder than your average red wine. Aim for 50 degrees—the equivalent of about 45 minutes in the refrigerator.