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The Piedmont region in Italy’s northwestern corner is renowned for Barolo and Barbaresco, two expensive reds. However, what grape variety is the most widely planted in this famous region?

A. nebbiolo

B. moscato

C. dolcetto

D. barbera

D.

Barbera, an indigenous variety, accounts for a majority of all the vines planted in Piedmont, even though the region is best known as the home of nebbiolo, the grape that makes the famous wines Barolo and Barbaresco. (After barbera, the next most widely planted grape is moscato). Nebbiolo is high in tannin and therefore Barolo and Barbaresco are capable of being cellared for decades.  By comparison, barbera is an everynight drinking wine. Because (like pinot noir) it’s relatively high in acidity and low in tannin, it is very food flexible. In northern Italy, barbera is considered perfect for braised meats, grilled sausages, and pasta with tomato sauce.  In other words, it’s great right now in the fall.

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