One of the two main areas that I am visiting in November is Piedmont. Piedmont is know for two things: white truffles and wine. I am more familiar with white truffles than its wines, so I have been doing a bit of research on its wines to learn more before I go.
So far, here is what I've leared:
- There are 3 "B"s when it comes to wines in Piedmont: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Barbera
- Both Barolo and Barbaresco use Nebbiolo grapes. The difference is where it was grown.
- Usually, Barolo is the strongest of the three and needs to be aged the longest before its taste mellows out. A good bottle of Barolo is usually aged 10+ years, 25+ years, or some times 50-100 years. In the meantime, Barbaresco can be enjoyed much younger, and same goes for Barbera.
- In the past 15 years, much thanks for global warming, Barolo has been really good almost every year except for 2002/2003, and 2010. As to the best year in the past 15 years, people have different opinions. It seems that 2001, 2004, 2008 are some of the favorites.
- Each year, when a vintage is first released to the market, the price is usually much lower initially, but it goes up very quickly after 2-3 years. Many Barolo that comes from great wine makers can go up 10 times or higher several years after the initial release.
- Because of Barolo's intensity and powerful characteristics, it is best enjoyed with rich meat/cheese dishes.
For this, I am thinking about visiting some reputable wine producers when I'm there and bring some young Barolo back to age, and then resale them at a later time. I might be able to recoupe some of my travel cost. LOL!
I bought a bottle of Barolo last month, before I did this research. It was the least expsensive bottle. (2003). Now I realized why it was the least expensive. LOL. I used a glass of it to make Bolognese sauce, which was amazingly good!
I might get another bottle of Barolo of a better year and try it again.