Talk about surprise in your glass!
When you first look at a glass of Nebbiolo it looks pretty tame - lightly coloured, almost opaque like a Pinot Noir. One sip, however, will confuse your mind completely, and take you on a taste journey that you never imagine you could be on.
Nebbiolo, commonly known as Barolo or Barbaresco to most, originates from Piedmont in Northwest Italy. It's a notoriously difficult grape to grow and although many winemakers worldwide have tried to emulate it, Nebbiolo hasn't done well anywhere outside of Italy.
Nebbiolo is an incredibly popular wine especially with those looking for a bit more backbone and body.
I call these wine "man wines" or "hairy wines" purely because one sip of these brings about visions of muscles, cigars and men in smoking jackets (don't even try to examine that!). They are very popular among those with an advanced palate and those looking for more than the lighter wines. They are rarely disappointed!
Barolo is expensive however, mostly due to it's relatively small production and difficulty to grow, but get a good one and be ready to go on a taste sensation journey.
A full bodied, high tannin and high acidity wine that has huge aging potential - it is rare to drink a very young Barolo but Barbaresco can be drunk younger.
Definitely not fruit forward wines but complexly layered.
Italy - Piedmont, Langhe
Australia - Victoria
California - Central Coast, Washington State
Cherry, strawberries, damson, plum
Perfume, roses, violets, leather, truffle, tar, dried fruit
Strong flavours are the order of the day.
Barolo needs food that will stand up to it's strength both from acidity and tannin so light foods are overpowered by it.
In Piedmont it is common to drink Barolo and Barbaresco with rich risotto and meat.
Dark meats and strong game do well especially if roasted or braised.
Strong cheeses such as Parmesan, Pecorino and Manchego.
For veggies try stronger veggies such as onion, garlic or fennel roasted.