Get to Know The King of Italian Wines: Barolo

Barolo – often referred to as the “King of Italian wines” – is a complex, full-bodied Italian red wine that is a delight to experience. Mark Cirillo, writer and editor of CucinaTO, explores the craft that goes into one of the finest wines Italy has to offer.

Barolo Wine

The commune of Barolo is located in Piedmont, home of Italy’s Slow Food Movement, and in many ways Barolo DOCG wines exemplify that philosophy.

There’s the deep connection to terroir: the entire cultivation and production process of Barolo DOCG wine is tied to 11 communes or villages in the little province of Cuneo, about 70 kms south of the region’s capital, Turin. And between these villages there are subtle differences in soil composition reflected in the wines they produce. La Morra wines are fruitier and more aromatic, for example, while those from Monforte are bigger and more intense.

Then there’s the aging process: a minimum 38 months, of which at least 18 must be spent in barrel (oak or chestnut casks), to bear the name Barolo; a minimum 62 months aging to be designated Riserva. And those are just the bare minimum periods that don’t include cellaring times after purchase – collectors often age traditional Barolos for a decade or longer, primarily to soften their tannins.

Here are some key characteristics of the DOCG wine:
•  Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, a varietal found predominantly in Piedmont and also used to make Barbaresco.
•  The wine is a full and intense garnet red that is high in tannins and acidity.
•  Barolo often has a complex bouquet. Tar and roses are usually cited, in addition to fruit, chocolate, herbs, truffles and tobacco.
•  The wine pairs well with the bold flavours of its native Piedmont, dishes that soften its tannins, such as hearty grilled, braised, or roasted meats, aged cheeses and truffles

All of these factors, in addition to the vintage and the winemaker’s style and skill, add the to the complexity of purchasing a Barolo wine. And that complexity is a good thing, because slowing down the buying process to understand the uniqueness of a product is the real advantage of choosing DOCG wines in the first place.

Buon appetito!

7 Ways to Savour Venetian Cuisine
Previous Article
4 Deliciously Simple Ways to Enjoy Pecorino Toscano DOP #IngredientDiscovery
Next Article

Other Articles

Articles, recipes and tips about real Made in Italy ingredients