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Uncork with Alex: Exploring Italy’s Piedmont Wines

Exploring Piedmont Italy Wines Barolo, Barbera d'Alba and Barbaresco from 90+ Cellars


90+ Cellars International Wine Buyer, Alex Shaughnessy delves into Piedmont’s renowned wines including Barolo, Barbera and Barbaresco. Grab your glass and let’s dive in!

In Piedmont, Italy, Nebbiolo reigns supreme. Here in Northwestern Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco –wines made from 100% Nebbiolo –are the most sought-after. These are wines that are complex and ageworthy; wines that are built to last and evolve beautifully over time. But, these two prized Piemontese wines are not the only great offerings of this world-renown region! Don’t overlook the humble Barbera, or you’ll miss out on something special.

In the early days of 90+ Cellars, we were lucky enough to find a truly special winery in Piedmont that has now been our partner for over 11 vintages. This third generation, family-run winery makes remarkable, acclaimed wines year after year. Lot 26 Barolo, Lot 27 Barbera and Lot 181 Barbaresco are consistently some of my favorite wines in our entire collection. And, in the past few years, this winery has even started converting their practices to organic viticulture, investing further in making the greatest wines they can possibly make. 

Once you taste the new vintages of these three Italian wines, and see the amazing price points we can offer, I’m sure you’ll agree that Lots 26, 27 and 181 are worth celebrating.


So, what makes each of these Piemontese wines unique? Let’s dig in.

Explore Piedmont Italy Wine regions

Barolo, the “King of Wines” as it’s often called, is a structured and powerful wine that is typically quite expensive. These wines are produced exclusively in the region of Barolo, which has been making wine since the 1850s. These wines tend to be extremely perfumed, with layers of flavors that never stop evolving, drawing you further and further in with every sip! Barolo also has high tannins and acidity, which is key in allowing these wines to age so beautifully. 

Explore 90+ Cellars Lot 26 Barolo from Piedmont Italy

Our Barolo has everything I love about these great wines – it’s bursting with bright red and black fruits, backed by intense dried fruit flavors and flowers like roses and violets. Lingering on the finish are notes of leather and cocoa. Delicious! Lot 26 is also very drinkable in its early years, whereas many Barolos take years to open up.

Barbaresco started producing wines about 50 years after Barolo. The difference in altitude (lower), combined with the more nutrient dense soil means you get berries that ripen a bit sooner. The end result is a wine with less tannin (although still high) and more fruit – think red cherries and raspberries with a subtle earthiness and touch of vanilla spice. I like to imagine Barbaresco as Barolo’s slightly more elegant and nuanced friend. Barbaresco only has to be aged for two years prior to release, whereas Barolo is three years total aging, with 18 months in oak. Therefore you generally get less meaty and leather like qualities in Barbaresco than you would a Barolo. 

Lot 181 Barbaresco came into our collection in more recent years, but I’m so glad it did. This wine is not to be missed.

Finally, we come to Barbera – the wine you want to drink every night. It’s far more affordable and “approachable” than Barolo or Barbaresco. I might be biased, but this is my favorite Piedmont wine, so I guess you can say I’m saving the best for last. Aged in stainless steel, the wine has such wonderful fresh fruit aromas and it’s much more versatile when it comes to food pairings than its more complex and intense neighbors. 

Explore 90+ Cellars Piedmont, Italy wines Barolo, Barbera d'Alba and Barbaresco

Our Barbera is full of blueberries and delicate floral notes, dried cranberries and black plums, laced with a hint of earthiness. It’s delightful alongside a charcuterie board of Prosciutto and Pecorino or with a main course of spaghetti and meatballs. (See below for my family recipe for meatballs… you can thank me later).  

No matter which of these Piedmont beauties you decide to go with, whether it’s toasting Barbera with friends, Barolo for date night, or Barbaresco by the fire, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Salute!

Meatball Recipe:


  • 4 TBSP salted butter
  • ⅔ lb ground veal
  • ⅔ lb ground pork
  • ⅔ lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ TSBP fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp pepper


In a small skillet, melt butter and saute onion and garlic until soft. Allow to cool. In a large bowl combine breadcrumbs and milk, let soak, add all other ingredients except beef. Mix well. Add beef and mix gently, form into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 


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