Known as the ‘King of Red Wine’, Barolo is wine high in tannin, and meant to be aged at least a decade (traditionally, they used to say two decades) before enjoying. If you judge a wine by it’s colour, Barolo will punch you in the face every time. In fact, we’ve often heard the phrase as being ‘kicked in the face by a Ballerina’.
Nebbiolo, the grape used to made Barolo, is thin skinned, much like the Pinot Noir grape, meaning you get a somewhat light coloured wine compared to its astringent tannin and high acidity bite. Just look how light the wine you see below is!
While this wine is known of it’s tar and roses fragrance, however, you can also expect flavours of raspberry, cherry, cocoa, licorice, and truffles on both the nose and palate, making it perfect for a feast fit for a king.
Barolo and Food Pairing
Piedmont, where Barolo hails, is a land of rich food, full of pungent truffles, wild mushroom risottos, Toma Cheeses, and game dishes. And it’s no surprise that Barolo simply loves these dishes.
Barolo is simply wonderful with game birds such as Quail, Goose, Pheasant, or Duck, as well as Pork Chops, due to the tannin in this red wine loving rich fatty meats. The fruity and earthy flavours of this wine also make it excellent with Truffles, Venison, Wild Boar, Lamb, and Stewed Rabbit.
For Cheese pairngs, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Robiola, Taleggio, and Parmesan Cheese all make excellent dance partners.
Opening a bottle of Barolo is a special occasion (due to it’s years spent maturing), and as such, it should usually accompany a grand meal, such as a stew that has been lovingly cooked all day, Osso Buco, or perhaps a rich Truffle Rissoto. Another idea is to lay a bottle down when your son or daughter is young, and perhaps crack it open a decade or more to celebrate a special event, such as graduating from college.
Decoding the Label
Traditionally, Barolo’s are aged in the barrel for a minimum 18 months, unless noted as Riserva, where it will spend 5 years in a cask.
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