Sunday, February 6, 2011

Barolo vs. Barbera

(*click on map to enlarge*)

Dude, wine is complicated.

That aside, it occurred to me there was another bottle of something Italian in my locker, (like any half decent wine, by way of path of bewildering generosity) so while I was doing Italian things why not do all the Italian things? Plus, these two wines come from the same general area, the upper left, so opening them one after the other might be educational.

I usually don't read about the wine beforehand because I want to see what I think of it first. This is its own debate; by not reading other tasting notes am I missing out on a possibly more defined wine experience? Or if I read other tasting notes am I letting it define what I taste? It can go either way. Sometimes I like that I tasted what I did minus external influence while other times I wish I'd been aware of the nuances others picked up. So, six in one...I guess.

But in advance of the 2005 Guiseppe Mascarello Barbera d'Alba, I did read online this tasting note:
"Very sweet wild fruit on the nose that is a bit figgy and fudgy with a strong vegetal top note, and a vivid streak of tar. Broad and expansive in the mouth with a wonderful transparent feel to the pure red fruits. This really floats in the mouth with a nice accent of tannin helping to give it some shape. The finish is long and really driven by that tannin which adds a nice earthy note to the finale 89pts"

I confess: I was like, that's just crazy. And that's when I knew I'm destined to remain, alas, a troglodyte. Sigh.
So in Trog-Speak, here's how it went. Both these wines were different and interesting, and I liked them both. They were similar in that they were both sort of medium bodied, and both well balanced with floral and spice things. The Barolo was more interesting, had a little more play between the two while the Barbera was a bit more elegant. I liked them both by themselves, no food, but if I did it again I'd probably opt to have them with a rosemary pork loin or like-herbed chicken.

My eternal gratitude to the poor people who keep giving me this stuff, though. I'm sure there are more than a few people thinking, my god, all that good wine wasted on that ignorant troglodyte. I couldn't agree more, and I continue to love every drop.