Top pairings | The best food pairings for Barolo and Barbaresco

Top pairings

The best food pairings for Barolo and Barbaresco

The food of Piedmont in north-west Italy is as highly regarded as its wines so it makes sense to make the local dishes your first choice if you’re looking for a match for a bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco.

I’ve grouped the two wines together because although there are differences between them their similarities are greater and the same kind of food will work with both.

More significant is the age of the wine - older vintages with their ethereal flavours and silky texture need a little more respect so don’t overwhelm them with rich sauces.

* feathered game such as partridge, pheasant, wild duck and pigeon and other slightly gamey birds such as guineafowl and quail

* roast goose

* carne cruda - raw beef or veal prepared the Piedmontese way - or steak tartare. (Locals might well drink a Barbera or even a white such as Gavi or Favorita but Barolo and Barbaresco would be an equally good choice)

* grilled fillet steak

* braised beef in Barolo (brasato al Barolo) - better with younger wines

* delicately flavoured offal such as calves liver, kidneys and sweetbreads

* truffles. Although locally they tend to drink Barbera or Dolcetto with truffle dishes like fonduta and tajarin (egg noodles with butter and truffles), Barolo and Barbaresco work well with these dishes too - and any beef or veal dish with wild mushrooms or truffles

* risotto with porcini/ceps

* cheese. Not all cheeses - a powerful Castelmagno or Gorgonzola piccante would certainly knock the stuffing out of a delicate Barolo but milder cheeses such as robiolo, grana padano and ‘toma’-style cheeses are delicious. Wine-friendly goats’ and sheeps’ cheeses would also work well.

Note: You could also pair the same type of food with Langhe Nebbiolo which in the case of the best producers is similar to the quality of a Barolo or Barbaresco.

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Comments: 5 (Add)

Fiona Beckett on October 13 2020 at 09:09

Sorry Stephanie - completely overlooked this request!!

Stephanie on January 13 2015 at 14:30

Hey, i am struggling in selecting some interesting wines from Piedmont to pair with this menu, my feeling is I will have to go more for red than white, so maybe you could suggest me a good white appellation to drink by the glass as an aperitif and a selection of red to pair the following menu, the idea is to make my guests discover the best of Piedmont.

Tartelletta ai Funghi Porcini con Fonduta Piemontese
Soft Porcini Mushrooms Tart Served with Piedmont Fondue

Tajarin al Burro di Cacao e Tartufo Nero
Fresh Hand Made Tagliolini with Cocoa Butter and Luxury Black Truffle

Brasato di Manzo Servito con Polenta di Grano Saraceno al Tartufo
Slow Cooked Braised Top Side Beef Served with Truffled Buckwheat Polenta

Formaggi Misti Piemontesi con Mostarda di Uva
Selection of Mixed Piedmont Cheeses Served with Delicious Grape Mustard

Thank for your help.


Davies on November 14 2014 at 19:53

Would a risotto flavored with dried morels work as well as the cepes?

Fiona Beckett on November 6 2014 at 11:45

Thanks, Stefano - sorry I missed your original comment!

Stefano (Trieste) on January 15 2014 at 11:15

wonderful Fiona
With all these stories about food and wines of Piedmont... I'll leave now to Langhe for eating tajarin and Castelmagno with a good glass of Barolo. :-)

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