I was 23 when I had this for the first time, working at a coffee shop in a small wine bar. I was always trying to find ways to get this on the glass pour list, I was so excited about it. I was also drinking Nero D’Avola, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Malvasia, and Cava. I started realizing that the only way I was going to understand this wine thing was if I focused on one piece at a time, study that until I get it, then expand. I decided to start with grapes. To me, Barbera was a great option, not only taste-wise but it was affordable and better quality than a lot of its comparable french or southern italian counterparts. Ca’ Di Pian was the best Barbera around at the time, so I spent part of my tips on a bottle for special occasions (looking back on my choice, it really has such a clean ABC structure and is easy to understand, so I can see why that worked for me).

When I had it this time, it tasted exactly the same as I remember- but I don’t like those flavors or the way they’re balanced (or imbalanced?). I like learning how I’ve changed or grown, and it’s incredible to me that taking a sip of wine can do that. So, tip of the hat to the gateway.

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