Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Much? In a BC Liquor Store?

198. Vinicola del Sannio Benvenuto Barbera (IGT - Campania - Italy)

This bottle was added to the basket at the government liquor store simply because I find I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Barbera and I couldn't help but wonder what kind of a wine can be found in our liquor system for $6.99. That's like an unheard of thing up here in the Great White North. Known for health care and taxes in general, the sin taxes on wine are particularly draconian in BC. No Two Buck Chuck up here.

So this was simply going to be a bit of an adventure. A mid-week wine at home for under $10 has got to be a good thing. As far as adventures go, this one was pretty much one where you get what you pay for. It was far from bad, but it was a simple wine that isn't going to offend but won't send you running back to the liquor store to stock up.

The Barbera grape is a star in its native Piedmont, but it's not a standard grape for the region where this wine originated, Campania. Then again, Campania isn't exactly one of the star regions of Italy when it comes to wine. Tourism, yes. What tour of Italy doesn't at least consider the Amalfi Coast and/or Mount Vesuvius? But, wine, not so much. Located to the South of Rome, I looked up the region's primary wines and, a couple of hours later, I don't even remember what wine varietals are actually sanctioned.

Since Barbera isn't a varietal allowed in Campania, the producer has to market this as an IGT wine - or a wine that is typical of the area. Since IGT is the only designation available to the Super-Tuscans, it's hardly a kiss of death on the marketing front. All the same, the Super-Tuscans flying the IGT banner don't sell for $10 either.

Hopefully, the next time we try it, we'll be in a trattoria or enoteca on the Amalfi Coast seeing just how typical it is of the region.

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