BAROLO & BARBARESCO FOOD PAIRING

Barolo wine can put such pressure on you and even more… pairing food with Barolo! Is it still too young? How long should I decant it? Will it live up to my expectations? And most importantly, what should I pair it with?. As they say, what grows together goes together! Here is what grows beside the Barolo vineyards.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN PAIRING FOODS WITH BAROLO COMPARED TO BARBARESCO?

Barolo and Barbaresco are both 100% Nebbiolo grapes coming from the areas surrounding Alba with only approximately 20 kilometers of separation. Therefore, the rules for pairing should be quite similar for both types of wines. If you want to generalize though, Barbaresco would have beautiful aromatics and silkier tannins making it great with even lighter dishes. You can generally drink Barbaresco younger than Barolo meaning you will have more fruit and flowers as flavors to pair. With Barolo, it really depends on the village, cru, winemaker etc. Barolos may be a bit more austere and call for heartier and meatier dishes.

 

 

WHAT IS THE BEST PAIRING WITH BAROLO & BARBARESCO

The obvious of course is any braised meat, like veal in particular (and cooked in the wine itself) which would be killer! As a lighter dish, you could pair it with a tartare if you feel comfortable with that.

PORK or DUCK

The astringency and tannins in Barolo can cleanse the juicy fats from a meat on your palate. This type of meat can also give a fuller sensation to the wine which can have a naturally lighter or medium body when young.

SAUSAGE RAGU WITH TAGLIATELLE

A pork sausage red sauce with fresh egg pasta would go great with a Barolo because once again it will cleanse the palate and cut the egg pasta but while the ragu has enough substance to live up to Barolo’s complexities.

MUSHROOM OR CHEESE RISOTTO

Still within the region of Piemonte, lies the rice fields. Porcini and truffles grow in the woods making this the perfect combination for Barolo. It is hearty and earthy and will match the flavors well of a slightly older Barolo but should still have enough texture and acidity to freshen the palate. If you can find the special Alpine cheese, Castelmagno, this is a must!

CHEESE

Barolo has layers and layers of delicate flavors. You don’t want a cheese to overpower it so a nice Grana Padana or Toma would be perfect for an after dinner cheese platter snack. Of course the previously mentioned Castelmagno would be perfect too.

ROASTED HAZELNUTS

As a snack, wineries often put out a little bowl of roasted hazelnuts. The best hazelnuts in the world come from Piemonte and are the richest in oils. The toasty flavor, crunch and fat makes a perfect light snack to pair with Barolo.

When pairing food with Barolo, remember to keep the food simple. You don’t want to overpower the wine with too many flavors and miss the magic of Barolo’s finesse and aromatic expressions. At the same time you need enough protein to match the tannins and structure of the wine.