As Autumn starts to take over, I find myself craving warming red wines, and for me, Italy has some truly incredible gems. When it comes to Italian red wines, I’ve already expressed how much I like Veronese Valpolicella Ripasso wines in particular- however, it’s not the only good red wine from Italy. Found in Piedmont, another region of Northern Italy, Barbera D’Asti DOC wines carry similar fruitiness and elegant tannins. Like Barolo, another iconic wine of Italy, expensive Barbera wines are common; but if you’d like to try it without investing too much, this vegan-friendly Barbera from the Co-Operative costs just £7.50. Better yet, it actually won the Bronze World Wine Award from Decanter two years ago.
Co-Op Barbera D’Asti is Vegan-Friendly
Tasting Notes for Co-op Irresistible Barbera
With a beautiful dark ruby colour bordering on garnet at the edges, this labelled vegan wine is a delightful medium-bodied red which can be truly enjoyable for drinking alone or pairing with food. Barbera wines by nature express vibrant, brambly fruits, balanced with good acidity and silky tannins. They’re smooth, rich, and very drinkable – and this vegan-friendly red wine from Co-op delivers on this promise.
Smelling it, you first encounter the alcohol (it’s 14%!) which is quickly followed by smokiness, leather, and subtle black fruits. There is a greater presence from the fruit when tasting it – black cherry and blackberry especially – with a hint of warming cinnamon. The acidity is balanced by a juicy, plummy character, with a very pleasant mouthfeel. I would have liked a longer finish, but for £7.50, it is still pretty good.
Barbera Wines and Food
Because of their acidity and fruit wines made with the Barbera grape pair well at barbecues, especially when oak-aged as some styles are. Whilst we enjoyed our bottle of Co-op Barbera alone, I’d imagine beef-substitutes, dishes including liquid smoke, smoked paprika and savoury herbs such as rosemary and sage would work well. Given Italian wine tends to have a preference for Italian food, I also think a hearty bean stew would work well – Italian wines tend to be really good at standing up to tomatoes, which is something a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Rioja can’t do nearly as well!
I haven’t tried Barbera from other supermarkets yet, but Morrison’s The Best Valpolicella Ripasso is suitable for vegans, and I would highly recommend if you like Northern Italian red wines.