Barolo, “King of Italian wines”

Two types of Barolo wines from Marchesi di Barolo: the left is the ‘traditional’ Barolo where barolo grapes from various hills are mixed together. The slender bottle on the right is the ‘newer’ Barolo (best identified by the new bottle shape). “Cannubi” is a particular slope in the Barolo vineyards, which the taxi driver claimed to be the slope which produced the ‘best of Barolos”. I think he was right.

Friday: I took two trains and a car ride from the bustling less fashionable (compared to its neighbour, Milan) Torino, to Barolo- the home of the “King of Italian Wines”. (Barolo is a little town in the Piemonte region)

Italian Red Wines are often stereotyped as strong, over-powering, feisty, and difficult to go down. This stereotype ignores the fact that the British consumer market is dominated by Italian wines outside of the Piemonte region. The more common Chianti reds are indeed strong and bright in a heavy way, much like the heavy red wines from Portugal, a land more famed for its port wines.

The Barolo wines are different. The initial taste of the Barolo on the tongue is the same: Bright, and inviting. And though the alcohol percentage lies at a relatively higher 13.5% (the lady at Marchesi di Barolo (the cellar I visited) said laws mandated a Barolo be >13%), this Italian washes down the throat easily, light and smooth. The complexities of the flavours are something I shall not go into for I’m not at the stage where my words would do the bottle any justice. Perhaps if you get the chance, compare the Barolo to the Barbera D’Alba (Alba is a larger wine producing area very close to Barolo), the latter of which I would consider and inferior, but cheaper and still delicious bottle with much less complexities in flavour.

Visiting Marchesi de Barolo
Some older bottles (not for sale), and a Risotto di Barolo (or something like that) I had at a nearby eatery.

There’s so much to say about Barolo- a town which you could walk in 10 mins but you would take 2.5 hours to get to without a car. The best way to experience Barolo? Taste its wines. Its the heart and life-blood of the town.

Interestingly, Barolo wines also started off in a love story when a French royalty married a local man..for more info:

The Wine Museum which was extremely trippy.

I’m not very sure why I like wine so much. I used to be in a coffee craze too, where tasting and making coffee had become one of those things I looked forward to every single day. Perhaps it is that these beverages have so much history and are closely linked with the development of societies. Perhaps it is that the making of wine exemplifies the close and inevitable relationship that Man has with the Earth. A good wine requires the kindness of the sun, weather, and even the moon. A great wine then requires the right techniques of Man’s hands, along with a passion to create something different and beautiful. Perhaps it is also that wine is like music- an art that varies from culture to culture, practiced in the cellars before putting up a performance within each of the glasses that we so swirl them in.

Music, nature, and wine. Perhaps there is a trend among all my interests and the things that make me happy. But wine- is expensive. I have to now live on cereal for lunches for the next few days. Time to fast.

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