Nebbiolo (nebby-oh-low) is considered one of Italy’s main red wines. The grape is native to the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, where wines have been made since at least the first century. The top two Nebbiolo wine regions in Piedmont are Barolo and Barbaresco. (When you see Barolo and Barbaresco wines, they’re made from the Nebbiolo grape.) However, this popular red grape is found across Northern Italy.
The grape produces wines that are light in color with very high tannins. As they age – which they age very well – Nebbiolo wines looks brick-red, and the velvety flavors develop.
The name "Nebbiolo" comes from the Italian word for fog, nebbia, which is common during the fall when the grape is harvested.
Nebbiolo is rarely grown anywhere else in Italy. However, Mexico is starting to produce Nebbiolo wine as well. It will be fun to watch this region grow… But today, the villages of Barolo and Barbaresco in Italy produce the most famous Nebbiolo wine in the world.
Nebbiolo in Barolo
Nebbiolo in Barolo grow in less fertile, mostly sandstone soils, which create a fuller, fatter wine with harsher tannins, and therefore, generate better aging potential. Think rose and tar on the palate.
Nebbiolo in Barbaresco
Nebbiolo in Barbaresco grows in more fertile soils and endure a maritime climate, producing a less tannic wine that can be consumed sooner than its Barolo counterpart. This wine has more red fruit and less tar.
Dominant flavors on the nose and the palate are Rose, Blackberry, Cherry, Leather, Tar, Anise, Cedar, Cranberry and Smoke.
Nebbiolo wine pairs best with Beef Tenderloin, Ribeye Steak (or Prime Rib), Roast Turkey, Braised Duck, Meat Ragu, Braised Pork shank, Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano, Fresh Burrata, Feta Cheese, Manchego, Pecorino Cheese.
The wine should be consumed out of a large oversized red wine glass. I would suggest you decant this wine for at least one hour. The tannins within this grape can be harsh. You can keep most bottles up to 15 years. The average cost of Nebbiolo is $30 and upwards – it can be very expensive but you can find good value Nebbiolo wines.
Carpe Travel collaborated with Maia Parish to compile the grape varietal overviews. Maia Parish is an award-winning events producer, sommelier, wine judge, and media consultant. She lives in Denver, Colorado and likes to eat copious amounts of food. You can find her here www.linktr.ee/thewinemistress.