One of the reasons I moved up to El Dorado County was the cornucopia of incredible wineries with reasonable prices for reds that melt in your mouth. This special Italian varietal from DiVittorio is no exception; we enjoyed it with a steak several months back and we still remember how special it was!
The DiVittorio winery was founded by Dr. Al DiVittorio and his wife Sally (an RN) - both of Marshall Medical Center here in Placerville. Dr. DiVittorio is a well known surgeon who probably saved my neighbor's life a year ago, but that is another story. The winery is unique and features wonderful reds and ports - and hails from a family recipe the DiVittorio's brought with them when they immigrated to America from Italy in 1904. This winery is a friendly, sunny spot in Camino, CA where all are welcome and tasting is free. Cheese and crackers are available to complement your experience, and a small jewelry case with finds made by local craftsmen graces the front entrance.
A Silver medal winner in the 2016 El Dorado County Fair, this wine is big, rich and bold, like a Barbera should be. It is also smooth at the same time, and doesn't have the brash after taste found in many lesser Barberas. The color is deep and rich, and it has a very pleasing earth and leather nose with a hint of fresh flowers. I enjoyed the velvety texture of this wine as well as it's mineral content and rich, chewy tannins (which tell me that it would have aged well, too bad, I drank it). Like most of DiVittorio's reds, this wine is a bit on the sweet side. This is because DiVittorio is also known for some of the most incredible ports you will ever drink, and the reds here also take on some of the port character. I would definitely recommend stopping by DiVittorio if you are ever in the Placerville/Camino area. It is well worth the visit - and they also have a special running where you can get a case of their 2005 (that's right, 2005) Cabernet and Syrah for $110. That is cheaper than grocery store swill folks.
Food Pairing Suggestion: We enjoyed this wine with a nice steak, but it would also pair well with any grilled meats or Italian dinners. I would love to try it with Spaghetti and Meatballs myself. Although I shouldn't be eating Spaghetti and Meatballs (but yet again, that is another story).
Music Pairing: My husband and I have an Alexa (Amazon Echo) in our dining room and we love to play our unlimited music while eating great food and drinking great wine. We listened to (what else?), Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack while enjoying our Barbera and steak. It was simply a magical combination, and could only get better if we were actually in Italy.
Activity Pairing: This is a sit down dinner wine in elegant surroundings, preferably with Italian decor. I would pay corkage and bring it to an upscale Italian restaurant. It would be a "date" wine that would wow, and set the stage for better activities to come if you get my drift.
Be sure and get this great wine before it is all gone!