Piedmont Winter

Picking a wine to serve with Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner can be tough. With so many different dishes, and so many different tastes, it can be overwhelming to try to find a wine that can go well with everything. So here’s our tip: go with Nebbiolo.

Nebbiolo is a red wine that was born in the mountains of northern Italy in the region of Piedmont. This is the region that’s famous for its Barolo and Barbaresco wine, which can fetch hundreds of dollars per bottle, but what many don’t realize is that Nebbiolo is the sole grape used to make these high-end wines. Often times, the Nebbiolo grapes used to make Barolo and Barbaresco are grown within feet of the grapes used to make Nebbiolo, and the only difference is the perceived quality of one vine over another, similar to Burgundy’s Cru classifications.

As a winemaker’s wife in Italy once told us, Piemontese sell their expensive Barolos and Barbarescos on the international market, and leave affordable and delicious Nebbiolo for themselves. “It’s the wine we drink when we celebrate an occasion,” she said.

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One of the most beautiful aspects of Nebbiolo is its scent — the wine actually smells of roses. We can’t think of anything more perfect than sitting around the Christmas table with the scent of roses wafting from glasses.

In addition to this notable scent, the wine has a great amount of acidity and mouth-drying tannins that go well with all types of food. Making a prime rib roast? Nebbiolo will got with it beautifully. A rack of lamb? Nebbiolo’s there to marry all the flavors. A rich mushroom lasagna? Nebbiolo’s got you covered. Even the classic Christmas ham and Nebbiolo go great together. Trust us, with almost any dish you’re going to make for Christmas dinner, this wine is going to pair perfectly.

While Barolo and Barbaresco may be the wine of kings and queens, with the price tag to prove it, Nebbiolo’s the wine for the rest of us, with great bottles that can be found for a price that’s usually only around $20. As our Italian friend said, “Nebbiolo’s our little secret here.” And now it’s yours too.

Merry Christmas.

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