Barolo food pairing
I have a couple of Barolos. Can anyone suggest some good food pairings. Also, I know that these are very age worthy, so are the ones I have too young to drink now? They are:
1999 Barolo Enrico e Marziano Abbona Barolo Terlo Ravera
2001 Barolo Pio Cesare
Barolo would go well with a beef stew/pot roast meal, something rich and hearty. Be sure to use a good red wine in the pot. You don't have to pour your Barolo in the cook pot, but perhaps use a hearty California zinfandel or petite sirah.
Opened a bottle of the Pio Cesare in December. It was lovely for the first 30 minutes then shut down completely. The potential is there but I won't be touching my remaining bottles for another five or ten years. (The 1990 is still going strong.) If I can find time, I'll post my notes from the tasting.
A friend who earlier decanted a bottle for two hours before trying it reported that he was disappointed with the wine because "it gave nothing."
All this is consistent with traditionally styled Barolo.
Haven't tasted the Abbona but would imagine it's more accessible, due to the extra two years and the house style. Still, 1999 was an excellent vintage, so the wine probably has many years of life ahead of it.
Aged Barolo pairs wonderfully with game, truffles and several local cheeses. Food matches for the younger, new-style stuff are much the same as for any vigorous (and probably oaky) red wine, grilled beef or venison being the safest bets.
roasted pheasant, quail, goose; truffles; rich stews, pig (or boar) roasts, venison; truffles.
Definitely worth a wait.
But if you want to open now here's my Barolo trick, works most of the time:
Open and double decant (pour into a decanter and back into the bottle) 24 hours in advance.
Put the bottle in the fridge (don't forget the cork).
Take out of the fridge a couple hours before dinner.
I recently opened and decanted a 1995 Aldo Conterno, and it wasn't ready yet - I'd say keep 'em down for another few years and go find a nice Barbera to keep your palate occupied :-)
A few years ago we did a "Steak and Wine" tasting... tried about 6 different red wine varietals with a plainly grilled steak... Barolo was the clear winner. The scent and particularly the silky texture of nebbiolo is just tremendous with steak.
Barolo is also an exceptional match to great Venison. Probably "the" venison wine, IMO. Parmesan Reggiano, Truffle, and other earthy mushrooms are two other exceptional matches. Osso Bucco, as mentioned above is a "classic" match with barolo.
Suggestion: You could create a truffle-infused sauce of parmesan & mushrooms and use it on your favorite cut of beef or venison. Enjoy.
BTW, those are youngish Barolos but could be drank now if you wish, IMO. I've had numerous Barolo tastings upon release and the wine has always been drinkable and food-friendly.
There's a recipe in the January issue of Gourmet. (you can find in on Epicurious) It's called beef braised in red wine. I'm doing it this week. A good barolo to drink....and another (lesser) one for the beef!