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Barolo Wine Guide

In addition to the two great names for wines starting with “B”, Bordeaux and Burgundy, you should know about the third great – Barolo.

If the first two wines have a pronounced French accent, Barolo wine speaks Italian. Barolo is the pearl of the Italian red wines.

What is Barolo?

Barolo is a red wine that is produced in the Italian Piedmont region. Wines with this name are made from Nebbiolo grapes. There are no exceptions.

In Piedmont, the Nebbiolo variety is kept under close surveillance. This is because a significant proportion of this region’s income depends on the harvest of this variety of grape.

  • Barolo wine is characterized as a rich, full-bodied drink with powerful tannins .
  • The aroma of Barolo has notes of rose flowers, tarry and dry herbs.
  • The light-brick shade of the drink and its pronounced acidity make Barolo look like some Burgundy Pinot Noirs.
  • In accordance with the requirements of Italian law and industry standards ( DOCG category ), wines that will be called “Barolo” must be aged in a barrel for at least a year, and then another year in a bottle.
  • Barolo Riserva – Barolo wine stored for 3 years in oak barrels and two years in the bottle. The minimum percentage of alcohol is 13%.
crushing grapes to make wine

Where is Barolo made?

Barolo is located in the northwest of Piedmont in an area called Langhe, about 15 kilometers southwest of the province of Alba.

In Piedmont, 11 districts have the right to produce wine called Barolo. Among them, the most famous are:

  • Barolo
  • La Morra
  • Castiglione Falletto
  • Serralunga d’Alba
  • Monforte d’Alba

The leading producers of Barolo are conditionally divided into two groups by soil composition. Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba come from the Barolo of the Serralunga Valley. The soils of these territories are characterized by a high content of sand and limestone.

The wines from the Serralunga valley are more intense, perfectly tolerating long aging in a bottle, during which they continue to reveal their potential.

Barolo DOCG

Barolo DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) is the highest category in the classification of Italian wines, as it involves additional requirements regarding production processes and quality assessment of products.

Barolo wines must contain 100% Nebbiolo grapes and are aged for at least 38 months (18 of which are in barrels). The term “Riserva” is valid only if the wine has been aged for at least 5 years.

How to drink Barolo?

  • It is believed that Barolo can begun to be drunk only 5 years after the harvest. In fact, a high-quality Barolo begins to reveal its flavors in full only by the tenth year. With time the tannins become less aggressive.
    Of course, if the wine is very good (from the harvest of a good year, from a well-known farm), then you will see the full potential of wine in a five-year-old drink. In the event that you have doubts as to whether a successful drink or not, it is better to wait a couple of years so that the wine can “ripen”.
  • Barolo must be decanted before use. Contact with air makes the drink softer, and the aroma of the drink manages to open.
  • Expensive mature Barolos aged 7 to 10 years are recommended to be decanted up to 4 hours before you drink them. More older wines (25 years and above) are recommended to be decanted a day in advance.
  • The drinking temperature of the Barolo wine is recommended to be between 18 to 20 °C.
    In super heated wine, the aroma will be blocked by alcohol vapors, in super cooled wine all the faces of the bouquet will not be revealed.

What pairs well with Barolo?

Barolo goes well with dishes that are characterized by intense aroma. “Delicate” dishes will be overpowered by the intense flavors of Barolo.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Traditional Italian meat dishes with flavor packed sauces;
  • Meat: beef, game and stew such as beef steak, lamb, veal, rabbit, wild boar and deer.
  • Bird: wild duck, guinea fowl, pheasant ideal. It harmonizes well with duck breast and foie gras.
  • Pastes: with spicy and spicy tomato or mushroom sauce.
  • Cheeses: aged cheeses such as parmesan, pecorino, aged Gouda and cheddar. Blue mold cheeses such as gorgonzole.

It is better not to try to combine Barolo with fish, since almost all types of fish will not be able to give the necessary level of flavor intensity and will be completely suppressed. For fish, a light red Bardolino is best.

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