Recently, I received a few bottles of wine from Tamas Estates winery. Located in CA's Livermore Valley, Tolosa is a Cal-Italian winery. Their varietals range from Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese to Barbera and Zinfandel.
We tried the Barbera with some sauteed, well-seasoned shrimp. I was taken aback by the level of delicious fresh berry fruit and light, supple tannins. There was also a hint of vanilla from the oak, but it was well integrated into the wine. The wine retails for $16.95, and is a blend of 80% Barbera and 20% Merlot, which explains a bit of the "jamminess" we tasted.
If you haven't given Barbera a try, and you like reds on the lighter side, seek it out. It's very food-friendly and can be a nice alternative to Merlot or Pinot Noir.
In the DC area Tamas is sold at Dupont Center Market, Super Fresh Food, Conneticut Ave Liquors, Freedom Market, DOwtown Spirits and Deli, Best Supermarket, Universal Liquor, Union Wine and Liquors. It's also served at Smith and Wollensky, La Chaumiere and Mantis.