(Written as guest blog on www.italianamericangirl.com)

Growing up, I always felt Italian. Proudly raised in an Italian American family and hearing about my parent’s one year adventure in Rome was just the start of my serious relationship with Italy. I guess I can call myself lucky that I grew up in Napa Valley surrounded by beautiful vine covered hills, some of the best restaurants in the USA and embracing a standard of refined food and wine from a young age.
Carneros, Napa Valley

 

 

This made my transition to Piemonte, Italy, a bit easier. I already knew the proper pronunciation of words like Sangiovese and gnocchi and the differences between pecorino romano e parmigiano reggiano.
I remember when I first got to THIS new wine valley without any knowledge of Piemontese wines I was frustrated, wanting to learn in in a hurry. I tried to visit enoteche regionali in towns like Barolo and Barbaresco, and read 500 page books on Italian wine. I soon found out that I had to let life take its course and personally experience the wines to learn about them
After 6 years of living in Piemonte, names like Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Barbera seem like old familiar friends. While I am no expert in wines (when I left home I was barely of drinking age!), I am passionate about them.
Family time wine tasting at Paraduxx Winery, Napa Valley
One noteworthy Piemontese wine deserves the spotlight: Barbera (bar-bear-ah). Even in Italy, it has suffered scandals in its past, and was taken advantage of for its yeilding capabilities. Barbera traveled westward to the New World as so many of our ancestors did, making its way into the American wine world. Initially, it was only partially accepted, used for blends and mass produced wines. Similar to an American expat like myself who is just starting to fit in here, Barbera is finding its place in America. It is finally being appreciated for what it is, has developed finer winemaking techniques and has turned into a “superior” red wine!
What better way to experience and learn about this wine than take part in an event presenting 5 Italian Barberas and 5 American ones. The anxiously awaited #barbera2 event will take place right here on Barbera’s originating land of Nizza Monferrato Asti. Where winemakers, wine lovers, journalists and artists can solidify century old bonds through passion and wine. Likewise on the other side of the ocean, there will be the #barberafestival where you can learn more about this versatile and vivacious red wine in California! Salute with un buon bicchiere di barbera!