Valletta: A Thanksgiving Day Red Wine

As we are getting closer to Thanksgiving, I’ve been going through my wine notes looking for wines I haven’t blogged about, but that would be nice additions to the Thanksgiving table. That’s when I was reminded of this gem—the 2012 Valletta Barbera d’Alba.

I actually opened this wine at the end of August with some work colleagues when they come over to see the “new” house. We made a day of drinking Italian wines and eating prosciutto and Soppressata, truffled gouda and Cherry Glen’s Monocacy soft-ripened goat cheese, homemade calzones, and Fine Sweet Shop’s cannolis. It was a truly delicious, but gluttonous afternoon, and not dissimilar from Thanksgiving except with a different main course.

2012 Valletta Barbera d'Alba

2012 Valletta Barbera d’Alba

The 2012 Valletta Barbera d’Alba (winery) is 100% Barbera grapes made by winemaker Claudio Alario in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy. The wine was a deep ruby with flecks of garnet. On the nose, there were cherries and plums with hints of earthiness. In the mouth, there were cherries, blackberries, and plums mixed with earthiness and something toasty. The wine was medium-to-full bodied with velvety tannins and balanced acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $25, this wine everything I look for in an Italian red–seductive, food-friendly, and delicious–and all without breaking my wallet. The Valletta paired the way I had hoped when we enjoyed it with our slightly spicy meat calzones. And, as I thought back on that pairing, I realized that its versatility as a food wine practically begs to pair it with a roasted turkey. It won’t overpower the food, but rather blend, enhancing the flavors as you eat and drink. Sure, it’s a little different than the more common Pinot Noir or Beaujolais options, but I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Question of the Day:  Have you started buying your Thanksgiving wines yet or are you waiting a little longer?

Price: $25
Purchased at Radici Market
Overall: 4.5 Corks

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