Top pairings | Top food pairings with Barbera

Top pairings

Top food pairings with Barbera

Barbera is a versatile red that will happily partner pretty well any meaty dish you throw at it. It is more robust and typically drunk younger than its Piedmontese counterparts Barolo and Barbaresco.

It’s also generally less expensive which makes it a more affordable option for everyday drinking.

There are two DOC’s in its home region of Piedmont - Barbera d’Alba and Barbera d’Asti but I wouldn’t worry too much about the implications of that for food matching. Barberas made elsewhere such as California and Australia are more distinctive with riper fruit and less acidity and capable of handling spicier food.

In Piedmont the locals tend to drink it with the first courses of a meal - particularly pasta dishes - but it works really well with hearty main courses.


Grilled and roast pork and wild boar

Inexpensive steaks like hangar steak and onglet

Braised lamb dishes such as lamb shanks

Italian-style stews and braises such as rabbit with olives or braised duck

Italian-style sausages with lentils, or in a pasta sauce (alla salsiccia)

Pizzas with a sausage topping

Pasta with meat and cooked tomato sauces such as bolognese. In Piedmont that would often be the eggy pasta tajarin.

Spaghetti and meatballs


Mushroom risotto

Meat-stuffed pasta such as ravioli and agnolotti

Fonduta with truffles

'New world' Barbera should also work with the above but also spicier stews with chili.

Barbera loves: garlic, tomato and olives

If you found this piece useful check out The Best Food Pairings for Barolo and Barbaresco


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