How many wine lovers know that Italy is the largest producer of wines in the world? Italy is home to some of the oldest and largest wine producing regions. The Piedmont region of Italy hosts the largest production of the Nebbiolo grape in the country with the communes of Barolo and Barbaresco leading the effort.
In April 2018, I was introduced to Oddero vineyard’s 2011 Barolo at a Dallas Women in Winesense Italian food and wine pairing event. The Oddero 2011 Barolo is a red wine that may fool you when you pour it into your glass. This 100% Nebbiolo, presents very much like a Pinot Noir when enjoyed young. As the wine ages, tannins mellow and the deeper red colors of the grape skins emerge. Shortly after the pairing event, I purchased a bottle and put it in storage to enjoy at a later date.
Oddero winery (www.oddero.it) was established in the 18th century by the Giacomo Oddero under the family name. The Nebbiolo grape is grown over 16.5 hectares (approximately 7 acres) of the vineyard property. Nebbiolo is usually one of the first grape varietals to bloom in Barolo and the latest to ripen. Acidity and tannin levels are high when the wine is younger and smooth out to a velvety consistency with age. The cherry, clover and anise flavors develop over 30 months in Austrian and Slovonian oak barrels. After the wine is bottled it will age another 6 months before release.
This wine is best paired with meats and fishes that are higher in fat content such as steaks, pork chops and salmon. The tannins in the Oddero Barolo soften the fat in high content meats and fishes to release flavor. I would recommend decanting the wine for 45 minutes to an hour before enjoying. In early 2018, I enjoyed the wine with rich Italian foods heavy in sauces. I decided to open the bottle purchased in early 2019 and paired it with a Red fish Pontchartrain dish accompanied with crawfish cornbread. The rich tannic berry flavors and delicate hints of fennel paired extremely well with the richness of the Pontchartrain sauce and sage in the cornbread.
At $60 per bottle, this wine is a treat that may be tough to locate. Mine was ordered through Jimmy’s Foods, an Italian grocer in East Dallas. My recommendation would be to ask for this wine through your local wine shop that specializes in locating Italian wines.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
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