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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