Cascina Radice San Martino Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2015

For pure and simple drinking pleasure, few grapes can equal barbera. The Cascina Radice San Martino Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2015 ($17) reminds us why we came to like wine in the first place, with its alluring aromas, vibrant but smooth mouthfeel and refined finish. This Italian red boasts some fab tropical-spice notes and a pas de deux between red berry fruit and plum. Love the supple tannins, too. One of the cool aspects of Piemontese barbera is that it mirrors Burgundy’s affinity for food: roast chicken or winter veggies, anything with mushrooms and hearty cheeses are among the swell options.

Available at Kowalski’s (St. Paul), Stinson, Cedar Lake, the Wine Shop, Excelsior Vintage and others.

Bill Ward