I am traditionally not a huge fan of Italian wines (Prosecco – yuk). However, due to a recent visit to a vineyard in Gordona (North of lake Como) by M, I have been bitten by the Nebbiolo-bug. He brought home such beautiful red wines that we are seriously considering adding Italy to our selection.
I was not very knowledgeable about the grape, so this cold Saturday morning I set out on a google-journey to read more about Nebbiolo. Where does it come from, how is it processed and what kind of food does a Nebbiolo-wine go with?
Nebbiolo is indigenous to Piedmont in North-Italy, west of Milan. It is also grown in other parts of Italy, California, Australia (Margaret River for example) and in small quantities in Chile and Austria. The grape gets its name from the Italian word nebbio, which means fog. The grape ripens very late in the season, October to be exact, so there is often a fog in the vineyards during harvest. Cool! Nebbiolo is also used to make Barolo and Barbaresco (!!). I didn’t know this before. However Barolo and Barbaresco can only be made in a few villages in Piedmont, so the rest is just called Nebbiolo. The locals joke that the king of wine, Barolo, is for those who can afford it and Nebbiolo is for them.
A Nebbiolo-wine smells like roses. It often benefits from decanting. The wines often have tastes of violet, red berries (raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) and wild herbs. It is said that Nebbiolo is good with all kinds of food: spicy meats and creamy pastas. I would not rule out having the wine just on it’s own. I can imagine it being quite nice just on a Friday evening wearing comfy pants and lounging on the sofa.
After doing all this research I am really thirsty for some red wine.