26 Jun

What is Barolo?

“The wine of Kings, and the King of wines”. Barolo is not only arguably Italy’s greatest wine, but also one of the finest regions in the world. Situated in the North Western Italian region of Piedmont, Barolo is a relatively small area of steep single vineyards of clay and limestone soils, only 8km across at its widest point.

Barolo is 100% produced from the Nebbiolo grape variety. It’s thought the name might come from the word nebbia (fog), which often rolls through the valleys in such thickness it’s not safe to drive.

Their colour is often quite a light transparent red similar to Pinot Noir. The wine itself tends to be richer and deeply concentrated, with noticeably strong acidity and tannins. These both help balance out the relatively high alcohol levels, and allow the wines to age for a very long time. Traditionally the best wines needed at least 20 years before they were ready to drink. Today with refinements in winemaking and climate, they are much more accessible, and usually start drinking very well from 10 years of age.

Often described as having aroma of tar and roses, in Piedmont they tend to be matched with rich pasta and risotto dishes. In fact it should only ever be drunk with food. Powerful beef and game dishes are also perfect, where the strong tannins soften and provide a perfect compliment.