Are you interested in dating Italian aristocracy? If so, then do read on as today’s Grape Date is…
I lurk in the foothills of the Alps, but I’m actually pretty noble. Let’s put it this way – if Cabernet Sauvignon describes itself as the king of French grapes, then I definitely am the king of Italian reds. As a youngster I’m surly and unapproachable (unless you pair me up with a good steak) but as I age I develop a maturity and layers of complexity and become a hedonists dream. I am all smoke and mirrors… I hide my true nature behind a veil of fog only to perform the final reveal – which, trust me, is always impressive.
Nicknames: You might know me better as Barolo or Barbaresco
Country of Origin: Piemonte, Italy
Location: North west Italy is my homeland. What can I say? You can take the grape out of Italy, but you cannot take Italy out of the grape.
Like: Sunbathing well into October, those who agree with the old adage ‘Patience is a virtue’
Body type: I’m very well built and muscular
Children: Please! I don’t believe in diluting my gene pool.
Smoking: I may indulge in the odd cigar. Come on, I’m Italian – what else would you expect?
Drinking: I go down like velvet… If you have about 20 years worth of patience
I am So. Distinctly. Italian. I take influence from my surroundings and pair local indulgences such as truffles and hazelnuts together with delicate flavours of rose, tobacco and red cherry. I’m a bit like marmite; I’ll definitely take you to the extremes, and make you experience sensations that you will have never felt before. Usually I leave people screaming for more, but occasionally I am misunderstood and people can run from me screaming in horror.
Similar to: Sometimes when I’m a little more mature I can be confused with Pinot Noir
Pairing: Man, I need a partner like a fish needs water. I am no good alone, but I can really help to lift any of the butter-laden and truffle-rich foods of my region. Stick me next to some food, such as this recipe, and I will shine.
Met your match?
Allora! I’m sorry to say I’m not a cheap date. You can find more affordable examples, but if you’re looking for my designer labels such as Barolo then be prepared to stump up.
Malvira Langhe Nebbiolo, Italy, £11.99 Waitrose
Keep me for a few years
Finest Barolo Italy 2008, £15.99, Tesco
Drink me now
Barolo Rocche Rivera, Luigi Oddero, Italy. £37.50 Berry Bros & Rudd