Best Barbera Wine

Barbera is both the name of a grape and of the red wine it produces. Its ancestral home is in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, from the vineyards around the towns of Asti, Alexandria and Casale Monferrato.

Barbera is a fairly light-bodied wine with mouth-watering acidity, a bit of tannin and is best consumed young.

Barbera grapes have black skins, the wine has a deep magenta colour, medium body, high acidity and low tannins. Young Barbera delivers intense dark fruit aromas of raspberries, cassis, chocolate, tar and plum. Lighter-style Barbera offers cherry, raspberry, blueberry and fig.

My reviews of these Barbera red wines are updated weekly. These Barbera red wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Barbera wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Barbera in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.

Ascheri Fontanelle Barbera D'alba 2008
D.O.C., Piedmont, Italy
Vintages Wine Panel: This single-vineyard Barbera gives you a taste of the latest vintage from Piedmont, and for a song! Deep purple in colour, it displays elegant aromas of ripe black cherry, plum, tobacco and hints of new oak. It’s medium bodied, with deep, dark fruit flavours balanced by lively acidity and soft tannins. My note: I recommend this wine year after year. It’s tasty, vibrant and rich in flavour yet will get you out of that cabernet/shiraz rut. Gorgeous aromas of blackberry, black cherry, licorice, spice and smoke. This wine just dances across your palate. Barbera D'alba food pairings: tomato-based pasta, chicken marengo, meat-and-cheese antipasto platter. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $17.95 Score: 90/100

This Barbera D'alba was reviewed February 20, 2010 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 982462  Check Stock

Bocchino Giuseppi Arduine Barbera D'asti 2011
D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy
Full-bodied, tart and juicy with sour black cherry and smoky notes. Good value. Pair with hearty meat dishes. Barbera D'asti food pairings: pasta in tomato sauce. Alcohol: 13.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2016  Perfect Pasta and Tomato Sauce Wine  Price: $16.95 Score: 87/100

This Barbera D'asti was reviewed October 12, 2013 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 343277  453 in stock

The Goatfather The Goats Do Roam Wine Company Sangiovese  Barbera Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
W.O., Coastal Region, South Africa
Vintages Wine Panel: Here’s an offer you can’t refuse. Cheeky Charles Back of Fairview Wines and his ubiquitous goats are at it again with this special ‘family blend’ featuring the Italian varieties Sangiovese (54%) and Barbera (28%) as well as international superstar Cabernet Sauvignon (18%). Just in time for the holiday season, it’s the perfect gift for that wine-loving movie buff or goat herder in your life, or enjoy it yourself . You won’t fughetaboudit. My note: I love the sense of humour on this label and hey, the wine is good too! Not complex but what the heck do you want at this price? Ripe blackberries and black cherries. Smooth and full-bodied. A terrific grazing wine! Sangiovese Barbera Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: gnocchi, tomato sauce. Alcohol: 14.5%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Price: $13.95 Score: 86/100

This Sangiovese Barbera Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed December 5, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 11072  765 in stock
SAQ: 11096781  Check Stock

Bersano Costalunga Barbera D'asti 2011
Piedmont, Italy
A lovely, mouth-watering, medium-bodied red wine with aromas and flavours of tart cherry. Perfect for tangy tomato sauces. Great price. Alcohol: 13.5%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2015  Best Value Red Wine  Price: $11.95 Score: 87/100

This Barbera D'asti was reviewed December 7, 2013 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 348680  2753 in stock

Beni Di Batasiolo Langhe Rosso Dolcetto Barbera Nebbiolo 2006
D.O.C., Italy
Vintages Wine Panel: This Langhe Rosso by Batasiolo is an excellent food companion ready for enjoyment tonight. It's a blend of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo, and the resulting wine brings the best of all three grapes to the mix: ripe fruit from the Dolcetto, acidity from the Barbera and silky tannic structure from the Nebbiolo. My note: A smooth, medium-bodied wine with plum and berry notes. Dolcetto Barbera Nebbiolo food pairings: gourmet sausages, meat-based pasta dishes. Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $17.95 Score: 87/100

This Dolcetto Barbera Nebbiolo was reviewed July 19, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 981019  606 in stock
BC: 163162  449 in stock
SAQ: 611251  Check Stock

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Many Barbera producers age the wine in toasted oak to impart complexity, aromas and age worthiness. Unlike Barolo and Barberesco, Barbera is not considered a classic grape. It is Italy’s most common red grape.

Barbera is a very vigorous vine and grape producer. Constant pruning of the vines ensures better quality and flavours. Barbera ripens two weeks earlier than the other Piedmont favourite grape, Nebbiolo. For this reason, Barbera is planted lower down the south-facing hillsides. Harvest of Barbera usually takes place from late September to early October. Some winemakers are experimenting with harvesting Barbera a little later to increase sugar levels, making the wine more fruit forward and robust.

Barbera is believed to have originated in Monferrato, a small town in Northern Italy. In the 19th and 20th century, Italian immigrants brought Barbera to the other parts of the world. Napa and Sonoma in California have successful Barbera plantings. In Australia, Barbera has had success in Victoria and New South Wales. Other small successes include South Africa and Argentina.

Recent DNA testing suggests Barbera may also be related to the French and Spanish grape Mourvedre. Barbera's high acidity and magnificent magenta colour has historically been used in Barolo and Barberesco to add more depth of colour and body to the naturally lighter Nebbiolo wine. Today, this practice is prohibited.

The two regions that produce the most outstanding Barbera wines are from DOC Barbera d'Asti and Barbera d'Alba zones of Piedmont.

In 1985 Barbera producers added methanol to their wines. Thirty people died as a result, and many were left with affected sight including blindness. The fallout from bad press led to a decline in Barbera sales and catapulted Montelpulciano to #2 in Italy behind Sangiovese.

Barbera pairs well with antipasto, beef, chicken, pasta with cream-based sauce, pizza, pork, spicy sauces, meaty tomato-based sauces, veal, vegetables and salads.