We're visitng my mom in LA and went out to dinner at Dante here in Pacific Palisades. They make really nice Italian food. I always have a good meal here. Nothing super fancy, but very solid and pretty consistent.
From the basic list I picked a Castello di Verduno Barbera. Of course they were out of that, but for the same price we had the 2007 Marcarini Barbera d'Alba Ciabot Camerano. It was too warm (obviously stored in the kitchen, which is too bad), but they brought an ice bucket and it cooled off quickly.
This is a delicious barbera, as usual. Fresh and berry scented, then lightly floral and spicy. I didn't pick up any new oak but there may be some barrique aging here. The flavors were simple and pure with tangy fruit and a nice tannic texture, and a great savory note on the finish.
Barbera is so often the best way to go with Italian food. Reasonably priced, easy to drink young, delicious with so many different dished and with mouthcleansing acidity that slakes your thirst and still brings you back for more. I still have a bottle of this wine from the 2003 vintage back home in the cellar. Time to get that out to see how a few years have changed it.