The Barbera Boys and Girl make headlines in Italy

That’s my fellow “Barbera Boy” Fredric Koeppel reading one of the articles that has appeared about the “bloggers” who have come to Asti to taste Barbera. Photo by Thor Iverson.

It seems that the novelty of our visit here in Piedmont has raised a few eyebrows. Yesterday in the local edition of the Italian daily La Stampa and today in the national edition, headlines have appeared, talking about the “Barbera Boys.”

This morning, the third day of Barbera Meeting, we’re tasting Barbera del Monferrato and I’ve been frenetically reposting the others’s posts on our aggregate blog,

Above: Last night, we read the article that appeared in the national paper when it came online using my Blackberry. Photo by Cory Cartwright.

I didn’t have time this morning to translate the entire article but here’s what I was able to do… More later… and More on the heated exchange that occurred last night between Belgian wine writer Bernard Arnould, my good friend Charles Scicolone, and legendary winemaker Michele Chiarlo. Suffice it to say, sparks flew, and I’m not talking about volatile acidity. Please check out for updates.

Here’s the link to the entire article in Italian, “Barbera Meeting: this wine is good and I’m going to write about it on my blog.”

    Most arrived with their notebooks in hand and their laptop computers to take notes. These tasters were invited to the province of Asti to take part in “Barbera Meeting,” a conference open to food and wine writers, a tasting and debut of Piedmont’s Barbera…

    The tasters have 120 labels available to them. “Four days organized (and financed) by the Province of Asti to attempt,” says alderman Fulvio Brusa, “to reach beyond the borders of the province and seriously share our wines with the world.” It’s going to take some courage: this year, the invitation has also been extended to the bloggers, the “irreverent” plumes of the web.

    Since Monday, six Americans and an Englishman have been filling up the pages of their blog,, with lively notes. They’re doing so in real time, as they taste the wines, together with their impressions of their trip, praise, and criticism. They also include their photos: the last one today, a photo of Nizza Monferrato covered with snow. It’s also possible to converse with them in real time: “Today alone, we’ve had nearly 1,000 page views from America,” says Jeremy Parzen at the Enoteca in [the town of] Canelli, where the delegation was invited to attend a conference led by viticulture experts, including [professor and enologist] Vincenzo Gerbi and Michele Chiarlo.

    It’s the first time in Asti, Monferrato, and the Belbo Valley for the “Barbera Boys,” as they call themselves. “I’ve been to Alba many times,” confessed Jeremy, “but this area has proved a surprise.” He offers some advice: “Don’t let Barbera become a Californian wine. Let the wine speak for itself, with the voice of its terroir. Have faith in the wine and have faith in yourself.” …

    Have a good time surfing the web!