bow tie Would it be great if all wines were 100-point blockbusters? I don’t think so, even if we could afford them. Powerful, complex wines demand attention. Their star power overwhelms everything else in sight. They make us work hard to understand them even when we just want to relax.

There is much to be said for a wine that does its job even though that job is modest—like making dinner go down easy. This Bowtie Barbera is such a wine–ordinary wine that makes the ordinary seem good enough. It won’t stop conversations, steal the show from an Osso Bucco, or make you think thoughts of divinities. It’s job is to support supper, take the edge of the evening—this it does well.

The good people of Piedmont have their Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s when they want to impress. They make Barbera for when leaving an impression is too much trouble.

Simple black cherry fruit, hints of earth after aeration, mouthwatering acidity, soft tannins—it is exactly what it is supposed to be and no more. A very standard Barbera d’Asti at a good price.

Score: 85/100

Price: $12

Alcohol: 13.5%