Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is the oldest and most noble native varietal in Piemonte. It most likely takes its name from the Italian word for fog, nebbia, which is very common in the hills of Alba, especially in early to mid-October when this late-ripening varietal is harvested. Nebbiolo is often called the "queen of black grapes" as it demands meticulous and laborious care. 

Nebbiolo is the varietal used to produce Barolo and Barbaresco, full-bodied, dry and tannic red wines with long finishes that exhibit subtle fruit, mostly blackberry, cherry, truffle, spice, rose and tar characters. Old-style Barolo wines were strongly tannic and could not be consumed much before 10 years of age; however, with modern techniques using smaller French barrels (barriques) for aging, Barolos are now drinkable at 5-6 years of age. 

Nebbiolo pairs well with foods that are acidic and fatty, including red meats, game, roasted pork, pork belly, chicken, duck, mushrooms, risotto and truffles. 

Cheeses that go well with Nebbiolo include aged Asiago, Castelmagno, sharp Cheddar, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Grana Padano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino cheeses and Piave.