Food - Drink
Nebbiolo: The Fragrant Italian Wine Aficionados Hold In High Regard
By ERICA MARTINEZ
Think of the boldest, most full-bodied wine you know — perhaps you’re thinking of a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon, but you should try Nebbiolo and add it to the list. Nebbiolo comes from Northern Italy, and while it may not be a famous wine worldwide, it has a dedicated cult following in its own country.
Nebbiolo wine comes from the very finicky Nebbiolo grape; it takes a long time to reach peak ripeness and requires a warm climate, lime-rich soil, and lots of sunlight. The grapes are harvested in late October, when they develop a white-colored, foggy coating, giving them the “fog” or nebbia for which it is named.
There are two types of Nebbiolo wine that attract wine aficionados, Barolo and Barbarescowhich which both use 100% Nebbiolo grapes. These wines share the same surprising characteristic: they tend to be lighter in color, yet super powerful in their flavor profiles, and experts have picked up notes of leather, tar, truffle, and rose.
These two wines are also high in tannins, which contribute to their exceptionally long aging time, with Barbarescos requiring two years of aging and Barolos 38 months. The Nebbiolo grape is also used in wines that are lighter and less tannic, but whichever Nebbiolo you choose, it will pair best with rich, decadent cuisine.