Wine has been part of Italian culture for millennia, it is at the same time the ideal compendium of Italian cuisine and the expression of the territory, as well as a whole section of Made in Italy appreciated, recognized and renowned all over the world. Among the vines of greatest pride and tradition stands out Barolo, diamond tip of both Piedmont (where it is produced), both the entire Italian wine industry. Remember to drink responsibly and discover with us the history and characteristics of this unique wine.
Known as the “king of wine and wine of kings”, Barolo is produced only with 100% Nebbiolo grapes and is much loved not only for its high quality, but also for its culture and long tradition. Not surprisingly, in 1966 it obtained the recognition of the first Doc (Denomination of Controlled Origin) and in 1980 of the DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin). The foundation of the Consortium, however, despite dating back to 1934 was officially recognized in 1947 and, in 1994, the institution took the name of Consorzio Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero becoming, therefore, Consortium also of territory and not only of denomination.
Origins and history of Barolo wine
As mentioned, Barolo is known as “the king of wines and the wine of kings”; this is because not only to appreciate it for the first time was Carlo Alberto di Savoia but, Subsequently, it was precisely on the basis of Barolo that Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia and Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour toasted to the unification of Italy.
The origins of Barolo, in any case, are much more ancient: they date back, in fact, to about 2500 years ago when the Ligurian Stazielli created the first rudimentary vineyard plants for the cultivation of vines. The first admirers of the wine produced were the Gauls but, soon, the Langhe became the object of desire of the Romans so much so that, returning from the Gallic War, Giulio Cesare decided to bring with him to Rome a good part of the wine production of the same.
Despite the most successful period both for the cultivation of grapes and for the production of wine dates back to the Renaissance, the real history of Barolo begins with the marriage between Carlo Tancredi Falletti di Barolo and Juliette Colbert, on the occasion of which the Marquise gave 150 thousand liters of wine to Charles Albert of Savoy; the latter fell in love with the beverage, so much so that he decided to buy the estate of Verduno to produce it personally.
According to the stories, the release of the first Barolo wine from the winery of the marquises was wanted by Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour who, with the support of the French enologist Louis Oudart, introduced a new type of vinification.
From this moment on Barolo was born as it is currently unknown, the flagship of Piedmont and the pride of the whole of Italy.
Where and how is Barolo wine produced?
Barolo wine is produced with Nebbiolo grape, demonstrating the deep bond with its land of origin. This aspect is also related to the fact that the vine is very fragile and the bunches need a long time to mature but, Fortunately, the presence of valleys and hills and a temperate continental cold climate allow the grapes to release particularly fine and intense aromas.
These particularly favorable territories are present in 11 municipalities of the Langhe, namely Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and in part the territory of the municipalities of Monforte d’Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco and Roddi.
Organoleptic characteristics of Barolo wine
The peculiarities of Barolo wine are extremely recognizable: it has a garnet red color with reflections pointing to orange and presents a complex bouquet, rich in floral and fruity notes accompanied by spicy shades. Its taste is elegant and persistent, which makes it one of the noblest wines of all Piedmont.
There are two versions of Barolo: the traditional one and the Riserva one, both of great structure and perfectly suited to great occasions. The difference between the two is that while traditional Barolo is aged for at least 3 years, of which at least 18 months in oak barrels Barolo Riserva is aged for 5 years, of which 18 months, always in oak barrels.
How to pair Barolo wine with food
Being a wine characterized by a great structure and a certain thickness, Barolo pleasantly matches very elaborate dishes. Many, in fact, prefer to drink this wine in winter, during which it is easier to prepare and consume more full-bodied and hearty foods.
Barolo is a distinctly tannic wine, therefore it needs particular attention so that its taste and, in general, its characteristics can be appreciated to the fullest. That is why it is preferable to taste it with pasta dishes seasoned with meat sauce and main dishes based on roast red meat, braised meat and game. Do not underestimate, then, the combination of Barolo and aged cheeses, truffles and mushrooms.
To taste it at its best, it is recommended to uncork the bottle at least an hour before consumption and to serve the wine at a temperature around 18 ºC in large glasses for red wine, able to collect the scent and keep it to perfection.