Sommelier Jason Hisaw: It’s Time for Barolo!

<span style=”font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;”>The weather is cooling off a little more each day, which means hearty meals for cold weather are here. Right now, people are asking me what wine works best with winter foods, and most people expect, or hope, for me to say a big, jammy wine. But those often overpower food.

You know what I reach for?  A Barolo.

Barolo, a region in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy that produces wines with finesse and character, is the perfect cold weather wine. Barolos are made from Nebbiolo grapes, a  thin skinned  grape like Pinot Noir, but Barolos pack punches of red cherry, tart cranberry, red flowers, and subtle hints of spice. They knock me over every time I try one.

I recently saw the 2006 Elvio Cogno Barolo Cascina Nuova for $48.99 at Pogo’s, so I picked one of for myself. Barolos often need a few years to settle down in the bottle, but this one is already showing a bouquet that is fairly intense, with cocoa and coffee notes mingled with spice and sweetness. What a perfect match for a big plate of spaghetti Bolognese.

Build a fire, grab a bottle of Barolo and enjoy one of Italy’s most treasured wines.

Jason Hisaw is certified as an Advanced Sommelier and is a member of the wine team at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas.