Varietal of the Month: Italian Barolo

Barolo is an Italian red wine made exclusively in the Piedmont region of Italy. Its production is certified by the Italian government and has been given a DOCG certification (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) that guarantees the specifications, location, type of grape and production techniques that are part of the strict guidelines that must be followed when making Barolo.

Made from Nebbiolo grapes, Barolo is known as one of Italy’s finest wines with strong tannins, high acidity, and intense floral aromas. Nebbiolo grapes bud early in the season but are often one of the last varieties to ripen. The unique terrain, weather and growing conditions in the Piedmont region has given Barolo the reputation of being the “king of wine and the wine of kings.”

Wine of the Month: Michele Chiarlo Barolo

Deep garnet color with complex notes of rose petals, juniper berries and fine spices. On the palate, the wine has good structure with fresh acidity, silky tannins and hints of crushed raspberry, juicy cherries, licorice and clove.

Made with Nebbiolo grapes, the Barolo from this vintage has a marked richness and aromatic elegance with notes of sweet fruit and spice. The palate is silky, with tannins that linger. It is a great vintage that can be enjoyed young but it also has aging potential. The wine has been aged for 24 months in oak casks before refinement in the bottle.

Food Pairings:
Fettuccini with porcini, braised red meat, well-matured cheese

Recipe:
Wild Mushroom Crostini with Gorgonzola Truffle Butter

3 cups assorted mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (see note)
4 Tbs truffle butter, divided (see note)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
4 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 small FRESH bakery baguette, sliced thin
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
2 Tbs cream cheese

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add the mushrooms and sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for an additional minute and remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread slices and toast on both sides until golden. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool. In a bowl combine the remaining butter, salt, pepper, olive oil, gorgonzola and cream cheese. Stir together to combine.

Spread the butter mixture onto the bread slices and top with mushrooms. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with olive oil, fresh basil and balsamic glaze.

Note: Mushroom varieties include chanterelle, porcini, shitake and baby bella. Truffle butter is located in charcuterie and also in the dairy aisle.

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