Whether it’s Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara or Ghemme from Piedmont, a Sfursat from the Valtellina or the Donnaz area of Valle d’Aosta, Nebbiolo is the key ingredient, if not the sole variety that makes many of northern Italy’s most important wines. In their youth, these wines can be impossibly tannic and difficult to understand, but with time in the bottle, they can mature into some of the most alluring wines from around the world. Luckily, you don’t need to wait decades to experience Nebbiolo, you just need to look to styles made for early maturity, such as Nebbiolo d’Abla.
In its youth, Nebbiolo needs a dish that craves firm tannins and youthful acidity to show its true colors. I can think of nothing better than a Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Shallots & Red Wine. These two are made for each other and you’ll find that the Tenderloin will smooth out the Nebbiolo’s rough edges and bring out its fruit and earthy qualities.
*My Tip: Use your Nebbiolo in place of the wine from this recipe, you’ll seriously heighten the pairing experience.
2010 Elio Grasso Langhe Nebbiolo Gavarini - The nose showed cherries with stony soil, rosy florals and an airy licorice note. On the palate, it was medium-bodied and a bit chewy with sweet cherry and hints of spice that lasted into the finish. Tannin coated the palate through the close but didn't detract from enjoying this wine now. (90 points)