We bought this bottle of 2003 Barbera D’Alba while in Piedmont Italy in the fall of 2004.
We’d never been to a wine tasting then, nor had we visited a winery, but this seemed like a good place to start, so we stopped in at a small family winery in Novello. The friendly lady of the farm sat us down and poured us several tastes and fed us grissinni, the lovely crunchy Italian breadsticks. She spoke almost no English — which was just as well, as we had no inkling what to say about the wine other than it was quite nice.
We met her husband and truffle-hunting dog afterwards, and bought a couple of bottles. This bottle has collected dust for three years while we waited for a special occasion.
My friend and travel companion Holly made a huge batch of bagna cauda over Christmas. This garlic-laden dish originates in Piedmonte and just begs for Barbera D’Alba so feasting on the bagna on New Year’s Eve was the perfect occasion to open it. “Who just happens to have a bottle of Barbera D’Alba sitting around?” Holly said when I showed her the bottle and told her about the perfect match between her dinner and my wine. She followed this shortly with, “of *course* you do.”
I’ll take that as a compliment. ;)