Barolo is a great match with many winter dishes, so we set Decanter's tasting team the task of recommending five beautiful Barolo for Christmas...

Piedmont, in the north-west corner of Italy, is renowned for its truffles and its wines. The wine in particular that has led the charge is Barolo, known as the ‘king of wines’.

Barolo is made from the Nebbiolo grape, the thick skins of which provide a muscular tannic backbone for the wine. It also provides plenty of acidity, preserved by the cool morning mists that roll over the hillsides of Monforte. Combined with a unique fragrance of violet, rose, liquorice and tar, Barolo is instantly recognisable.


Scroll down for recommended Barolo for Christmas


Great with food

Its tannic structure can be overpowering when young, but with time the tannins begin to integrate. Paired with protein-rich foods such as roast beef and cheese, even youthful tannins will soften to the extent that the full flavour of the wine is released.

Barolo works well with red meats and game, but be careful not to drown out older vintages with strongly flavoured sauces. And, of course, it is perfect paired with truffles!

The high acidity levels enables the wine to cut through oily, fatty and salty ingredients, and reach equilibrium with high acidity foods such as tomato. Acidity is your friend at the Christmas dinner table.

Crus

The vast majority of Barolo is produced in the five main communes: Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba. In addition, each of these communes has several vineyard crus, which are not official but widely accepted as producing higher quality wines. This has led some experts to make comparisons between Barolo and Burgundy, which can both be defined by their patchwork of communes, crus, and predominantly family owned domaines.

There are strict laws that are designed to maintain the quality of any wine labelled as Barolo. Primarily, it must be made from 100% Nebbiolo. It must also be aged for at least 38 months before release, or five years if it is labelled as a Barolo Riserva.

Barolo for Christmas:

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