I bought this wine on a whim. It was reduced from £9.99 to £6.99 and I had never tasted the variety before, so I thought: why not?
Apparently Barbaresco and Barolo are two gems in the northern Italian winemaking region, little did I know! Both wines are made from the Nebbiolo grape which is grown in very few places across the globe, most of which are in northwest Italy. They’re said to generally be quite pricy and need to age for 10 to 30 years to be at their best, so I wasn’t quite sure what a five-year-old bottle under a tenner was going to offer.
The aroma was fruity and full as I imagined it would be after reading up on it, but the taste was a bit harsh and any fruit flavor was lost in the strong tannins. As my dinner plans changed and my initial glass had left me rather unimpressed, I corked it and kept it for another day.
When I finally got around to trying it again it was a week later. The flavor had softened and the initial harshness had been replaced by dark red fruits and the slight bitterness of dark cherries. It was thoroughly drinkable on it’s own, but it is supposed to be transformative when enjoyed with food, especially earthy flavors like beef, truffles and mushrooms. Unfortunately I didn’t get to test this, but I will buy it again and be sure to let it breathe for a decent amount of time or aerate it before drinking it with some braised short ribs or some mushroom risotto!