Thanks for being here in 2019 and wishing you a great 2020.

Last week, the wine critic and columnist for the New York Times Eric Asimov (one of my favorite wine writers and author of one of the books that I teach in my wine communications seminar at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Piedmont, not far from Monferrato where Barbera d’Asti is grown), wrote about the delicious “welcome sort of bitterness” in wine.

And one of the wines that he names as a great example of this was — yes, you guessed it — Barbera d’Asti.

“I find the welcome sort of bitterness most often in Italian reds,” he wrote in his Christmas week column “For a Sweet 2020, Look to the Bitter in Wine”. “It doesn’t matter which region or what grape, it seems to cut across, whether Valpolicella of the Veneto, Barbera d’Asti of the Piedmont, Chianti Classico of Tuscany, the Aglianicos of Campania or the Etna Rossos of Sicily.”

“Stay aware of the flavors that make so many red wines so delicious,” he writes in closing, “as well as other foods. Perhaps we can make 2020 a bitter year, and I mean that in the best possible way.”

Eric is also one of the best tasters I’ve ever met and his knowledge of wine is encyclopedic.

I love that he included Barbera d’Asti in his short list of the Italian wine canon. And I love even more the fact that he specified Barbera d’Asti and not just Barbera, the grape. It’s a sign that Barbera d’Asti has begun to firmly establish itself as one of Italy’s great wines in the mind’s of Americans. And deservedly so!
For many years, Barbera d’Asti was wrongly relegated to second-tier status in the perceptions of American consumers. And it’s wonderful to see that such prominent voice like Eric’s has included a category shared with Italy’s greatest — and currently trending — wines.

I can’t think of a better way to start off 2020, as Eric writes, on a bitter (sweet) note!

Thanks for being here in 2019 and wishing you a great 2020. See you next year.