If you’ve chanced upon this page looking for expert advice on Barolo the wine, I’m sorry, but expert I am not. What I can tell you, however, is how easy, fun, and educational an afternoon of wine-tasting can be if you visit the Enoteca Regionale in Barolo. With 32 labels to choose from, I dare you to walk out of there without feeling several sips wiser on tasting Barolo!
Barolo 101: the soil
Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, one Barolo can differ from another depending on the type of soil where the grapes were grown. Vines grown in sandy terrain yield wines that are fruity and less tannic, while vines grown in clay are more tannic. The enoteca takes the guess-work out of where to begin by grouping various Barolo in 3 soil types: sand, sand and clay, clay.
Categories 1 (sand) and 2 (sand and clay), originally uploaded by Rubber Slippers In Italy on Flickr
Each category has 8 labels to select from. This gives visitors an ample opportunity to note the nuances between various winemakers in any given soil type. Not fond of the harshness of tannins? Stick with category 1. Want to try them all? Start tasting in numerical order from less tannic to more tannic. A 4th and final category is dedicated entirely to bottles of aged Barolo. We tried only one (year 1984) and it tasted almost like a dessert wine.
Barolo 101: pick a wine, any wine
You’ll need to leave an identity document with the staff to receive a wine card and wine glasses. The automated system is super easy: insert card in single slot above category, place glass under dispenser, push screen to dispense, remove card and carry on.
Pours are about 1/8th of a cup. Prices are listed for each label and range from 2€ to 4€ (the older Barolo in category 4). When you’re done, return card to the staff and they’ll total your pours. Great way for a do-it-yourself introduction to Barolo, and you can purchase bottles to bring home. Nice plus: the enoteca is dog-friendly too.
Mister B was so terrified but he found a hiding spot from which to check things out.