A hugely knowledgeable host, Mandy offers insights into what to look for in the wine's character, for example how my Barbera from Lombardy differs from her Barbera from Piemonte; then adds details on how the relevant laws,
terroir (soil) etc. contribute to an understanding of how wines made from the same grape can differ based on where they are grown.
I had to translate the notes on my bottle of Barbera from the "Italian Reds"
session from Italian Into English (thanks Google) to determine the wine's origin. Otherwise we might all have assumed it was grown in Piemonte
"Lombardy Region in the heart of the Oltrepo Pavese: It is
obtained from the vinification of Barbera Grapes. Deep red wine with violet reflection, intense and fruity aroma with notes of cherry. Fresh, full with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste"
My description of the
taste prompted a lively “round table” discussion on tannins, acidity and fruit as Mandy explained how each contributes to ageing potential.