When Michael Bittel, co-owner of Sunset Corners Fine Wines & Spirits, 8701 SW Sunset Dr., Miami gets in a special wine shipment, he likes to study up on it and write something to the 2,000 customers on his e-mail list.
“Some thoughts on barbera,” his latest missive begins: “In the last few years I've noticed a personal preference for a grape variety that I, for the most part, had ignored in my own cellar. That grape is Barbera!
"Barbera can be anything from cherry-scented and cheery, to rich and robust, to smooth and sultry. It owes its skyrocketing prominence almost solely to one man: Giacomo Bologna. In the 1960s this now-legendary winemaker was the first to prove that, under the right planting and ageing conditions, Barberas could rank with the great wines of the world.
"These days, Bologna's widow, Anna, and children, Raffaella and Giuseppe, run the wine estate. With their state-of-the-art cellars and forward-thinking work ethic, they have made Braida one of the most-respected wineries in Piedmont."
Bittel is holding a free tasting of the wines of Giacomo Bologna Braida from noon to 3 p.m. Sat., April 5.
* 2005 Braida Monte Bruna Barbera, reg. $28, now $19.
· 2004 Braida Bricco del Uccellone Barbera, reg. $65, now $46.
* 2007 Braida Moscato, reg. $18, now $15.
· 2004 Braida al Suma Barbera, reg. $100, now $70.
Bittel doesn’t have a website. But you can ask to get on his e-mail list by calling 305-271-8492 or e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Carl Juste / Herald Staff