Eating in Italy is one of the premier pleasures of being in the country. And the wine that goes with dinner is one of the high points of the experience. Italy is one of the world's oldest wine-producing regions, and it produces the most wine of any country in the world. That's a big benefit for non-Italians, who can buy and enjoy top-quality Italian wines wherever they are.
Italy's wines are known for their variety, and Chianti and pinot grigio are possibly the most familiar to you. Less ubiquitous are Barolo wines, which hold a place of honor in Italy and regularly are found at the top of "best" lists and are generally more expensive. They are derived from the Nebbiolo grape and produced in Italy's Piedmont region. Wines from the Nebbiolo grape look light in the glass but don't be fooled. They are full-bodied and extremely tannic. If you're a red wine aficionado, this is a wine you should not miss. This is truly one of the world's greatest red wines and is an example of a wine that gets better and better with age.
These reds pair especially well with rustic Italian food like pasta dishes and slow-roasted meats, as well as steaks and sharp cheeses. Serve along with plenty of fresh Italian bread.
01 of 05
Beni di Batasiolo Barolo 2009 (Piedmont)
A classic Barolo with a decent price, Beni di Batasiolo is a fine introduction to one of Italy's dominating red wines from the famed Piedmont wine region. This Barolo from the Batasiolo Winery (under the Boisset Family Estates umbrella) carries significant fruit and maintains remarkable structural integrity with dense, chewy tannins, complexity, and a persistent, albeit elegant finish.
02 of 05
This is a stunning, single-vineyard Barolo built on the Nebbiolo grape. Expect this wine to engage your senses from expressive aromatic start to well-developed finish. Cherry, black licorice, tobacco leaves, and mocha notes all swirl together in a heady mix of foundational, terroir-driven fruit and oak-induced spice supported by supple tannins and gorgeous balance.
A well-calibrated dance of both power and elegance make this particular Barolo an incredible delight and one that goes well with local Piedmont fare like white truffle themes, braised game, grilled beef, and roasted lamb shanks.
03 of 05
This wine boasts big berries, firm tannins, a full body, and plenty of power on the palate. Expect dark cherry, smoke, cinnamon, clove, and mineral-driven undertones. Complex, dense, and ready to rumble, this particular Barolo is wound fairly tight and will only improve with age.
04 of 05
The vines for the 2008 Vietti Barolo Rocche are 45 years old and bring a deeply concentrated fruit aspect with dense plum, black cherry, and some serious French oak-induced spice to its already full-bodied character.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05