Wine professionals and consumers share a similar aspiration when they visit a wine region; they want to enjoy the area’s best dining experiences so they can pair their favorite local wines with the territory’s typical food offerings.
While commonplace throughout Italy, this situation is nowhere more prominent than in Piedmont, especially in the region’s southern Langhe district. Lunch or dinner in the Barolo and Barbaresco production zones here is more than a simple pleasure; this is wine, and food pairing elevated to an art form.
Barbaresco is one of Italy's iconic reds, yet in Piemonte, while it tends to be treated with great respect, it rarely receives the attention it deserves, due to the fame of Barolo.
In this webinar, we will explore this wine in detail, looking at the three communes that comprise the production zone, to the winemaking styles of the finest producers, that vary from ultra traditional to modern. We will of course, focus on a few famous producers, but will also examine the wines of several underrated vintners.
Tom Hyland is a Chicago-based wine writer/educator and photographer, specializing in Italian wines.
He has authored two books on Italian wines, and has conducted seminars for the trade on various Italian wines in Chicago, New York and in Bordeaux at VinExpo.
Thanks to a string of successful vintages, there has been a great deal of recent publicity regarding Barolo and Barbaresco wines.
Produced entirely from Nebbiolo, these two iconic wines have changed in style over the past 20-30 years; where once, the wines were reserved upon release, today, the wines are riper and more forward. This is largely due to climate change, as warmer temperatures throughout the growing season have necessitated Nebbiolo harvests some two to three weeks earlier these days than in the 1980s, ‘70s and prior; while late October to early November was normal for a Nebbiolo harvest thirty and forty years ago, today, harvest is more typically in early-mid October.
The best way to make sense of Italian red wines is to simply start tasting them. Italy offers the perfect red wine for every occasion—from pizza on Monday to roast beef with the in-laws on Sunday.
Many of Italy's best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, often combined with the grape variety. If you've ever felt wholly overwhelmed while browsing an Italian wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment's notice.