Something funny happened this weekend. We had dinner at our house both on Friday and Saturday with different people, yet they both coincidentally brought us the same exact bottle of wine. The first night I didn’t notice but the second, I was curious to find out what this “ubiquitous” bottle actually was. Looking closer at the label, I was shocked!For someone who is learning about wine, I gave this bottle the benefit of the doubt and tried to find the wine maker name somewhere on the label. All I could find was Barbera D’Asti repeated twice! Could it be possible that an actual winery is called Barbera D’Asti? I skeptically looked it up and as I had guessed, could not find any winery with this grape variety as their name.


Then…DOCG? Isn’t DOCG supposed to be the most severe designation for an Italian wine, coming from a distinct area and made under strict government regulated laws. The DOCG regulation means (or should mean?) lower yields and considering that I got this wine two out of two nights, it sure doesn’t seem that way! Wines under this denomination also have to pass a wine and chemical analysis before being bottled. Hmmm… this seems a little fishy especially because it vaguely says PRODUCT OF ITALY. Sounds like a fake to me!

The law also states that there must be a pink wine or white seal on the neck or cork of the bottle with the official denomination and bottle number. This didn’t even have one.


Secondly, I had to laugh at the wine description in Italian which said: it has a ruby red color, and on the nose it is vinous, pleasurable, and characteristic. While in the mouth it expresses all of its pleasantness and harmony. What a bunch of “fried air” … or “aria fritta” as they say in Italian. A whole lot of nothing!

To make things worse, the English translation was completely different describing the wine in more detail as being: full bodied and fruity, originating from the famous rolling hills of the Asti region at the foot of the Monferrato Hills. It has a sharp bouquet making it ideal for Mediterranean food. I wonder why they totally changed the translation? Maybe they think English speakers are ignorant when it comes to Barbera and Italian wine?


I have an idea of which European discount store this came from and do not want to accuse them of anything. However, I find it astonishing that more people don’t notice these things and wonder if someone here is getting around the law. For the record, I am not trying to be a wine snob, but as a learner, this stumped me! What are your thoughts?

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