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Pairing Food with Barolo

Pairing Food with Barolo

One of life’s greatest delights is sitting down to enjoy a meal. A bit of good ambiance and company will certainly enhance the experience, but we at Komo Cellars would argue that the best addition to a plate of delicious food is a glass of wine. Even better would be a glass of wine that enhances your food with its unique flavors and aromas. There is a wine out there for just about every kind of food you may encounter. Some wines tend to enhance or compliment food better than others. For red wine, there is a famous region from northern Italy that comes to mind that produces a wonderful “food wine” that shouldn’t be missed when certain dishes are being served for dinner - the one and only Barolo.

Before we dive into which dishes would pair well with this powerful and exciting red wine, let’s get to know it a little better. To start, Barolo is a wine region in Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Barolo is full of rich limestone soils that help create what most would say is the best representation of the nebbiolo grape in the world. Nebbiolo from Barolo is known for its aromas and flavors of raspberry, red cherry, rose and licorice. As it ages it can take on more complex aromas like porcini mushrooms or sage. It is also known for having strong tannins and acidity, but a few of the processes that are practiced and required in Barolo help to round what some would consider a harsh wine when consumed young. Barolo winemakers are required by law to age their wine for at least two years in a wood vessel and one year in oak before releasing the wine. Once the wine is released, many choose to cellar it in order to round out the flavors even further. That being said, modern winemaking techniques are making beautiful representations of Barolo that don’t have to be cellared for 10+ years.

Now, the other factor at play here is the food pairing. There are a few key fundamentals that come into play when looking at how to pair wine with your meal. There are pairings that compliment each other because they both have similar qualities. For example, a bright ceviche or fresh salad with lemon vinaigrette being complimented by a zingy riesling or sauvignon blanc. Two high acid components working hand in hand to create an enhanced experience for your tastebuds. There is also the pairing that works well because they contrast each other. Think of a rich and creamy goat cheese or brie with a glass of Champagne. Barolo tends to shine in the latter of those two methods with its high intensity that is complemented by a contrasting element.

With Barolo, you want a pairing that will allow the subtle complexities of the wine to shine but will concurrently balance out the strong tannins and acidity. Think simple but rich. A perfectly grilled ribeye steak or a lamb ragu that’s been simmering on the stove all day. Yes, red meat is a wonderful idea when breaking out the Barolo you’ve been saving. If you happen to not be in the mood for red meat, you can opt for something like a mushroom risotto or carbonara. The fats in those dishes will balance the elements in your glass of Barolo handsomely. You can also have a glass of Barolo with everyone's favorite snack - the charcuterie board. Cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano or Castelmagno from northern Italy are natural picks and any thinly sliced cured meat will be a delightful snack alongside your glass.

Are you suddenly craving lamb ragu and itching to try out these pairings? Check out our Luigi Baudana Barolo 3 pack to stock up before you cook your next meal. Cheers!

Written by Komo Cellars