Haruki Murakami and Barolo

by Redazione Fine Taste

What does the great Murakami have to do with Barolo? When we decided to write this blog about Barolo, its fame, its characteristics and its uniqueness, we immediately thought of Murakami. Surprised? We are sure that you are wondering the origin of this "strange" association. Now let's explain better.

Just over two years ago, to be precise on 11 October 2019, when Fine Taste wasn't even an idea, we were sitting in the packed Teatro Sociale in Alba and listened with admiration to the lectio magistralis of the Japanese writer for the first time in Italy to collect the Lattes Grinzane Award.

At the end of his speech, after the celebrations and the ritual thanks, the organizers gave Murakami, a little surprised, a case of precious bottles of Barolo. Frankly, the first thing we thought was that it was a form of commercial promotion. We were wrong. Murakami, after staring at the chest for a long time, not only showed that he greatly appreciated the gift but publicly declared "... my wife and I lived in Rome for a long time in the late 1980s and in that period I wrote two novels, "Norwegian Wood ” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.” They were very beautiful and prolific years of my life. I have many fond memories of this country, but above all the wine and pasta. Barolo is without a doubt one of my favorite wines!”.

Story of a great wine

Having made this literary digression, let's see why Barolo is considered a great wine and where its fame as "king of wines and wine of kings" comes from.

His “discovery” has noble origins. King Charles Albert of Savoy, intrigued by the existence of this new "different" wine, with a greater body and structure than the red wines of the time, asked the Marchioness of Barolo, Giulia Colbert Falletti, to be able to taste it. Among the many merits of the Marchesa there is undoubtedly that of having radically transformed Barolo, which was previously a simple sweet and slightly lively wine obtained from open-air fermentation! It almost sounds like a joke but it's all true! The Italian red wine, iconic par excellence, of global fame, synonymous with long aging, an intense and persistent aromatic spectrum, with evident and slightly rough tannins in its youth, was originally a sparkling and undemanding wine!

Needless to say, the King was so enthusiastic that he purchased an estate in Verduno to produce his own Barolo.

In the following years, Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour also definitively celebrated its fame as a great wine, who started its production and began to use it as an institutional wine for more or less formal gatherings, including the celebrations for the Unification of Italy, in 1861.

Since then Barolo has come a long way, thanks above all to the foresight and tenacity of winemakers and cellar masters, who saw in the pure Nebbiolo grape, the only blend that makes up Barolo, the possibility of creating a unique wine, capable of make the difference. A wine that inspires deep respect, the nectar to be enjoyed on special occasions.

Characteristics of Barolo

Barolo, DOCG (Controlled and Protected Designation of Origin) since 1980, was born in the heart of the Langhe, on the hills that rise south of the city of Alba; the geological and microclimatic conformations of these areas give the wine particular nuances that give character to its robust and tannic texture.

The vine has a late ripening, starting in the second half of October, the grapes have a long and pointed shape and are blue tending towards grey.

According to the strict regulations, Barolo must age at least 3 years (of which 18 months in oak barrels) and at least 5 years to be called "Riserva".


And once uncorked?

Tasting a Barolo is a unique experience for all the senses: ruby ​​red in colour, tending towards orange, it is often brilliant and quite transparent, despite its body.

When you bring the glass to your nose you perceive floral notes of rose and violet, fruity hints of red fruits, especially wild strawberries, raspberries and cherry jam, but also spicy notes, chocolate, cloves, nutmeg, dried mushrooms, black pepper, notes of toasted tobacco and vanilla. A true carnival of perfumes!

On the palate it releases all the strength and vigor of the tannin at a young age. An intense freshness of cooked fruit, combined with aromas of undergrowth, give a warm and decisive aftertaste, in which the floral and balsamic notes remain.


And finally, which dishes is it best to pair it with?

Like all great wines, Barolo expresses itself excellently on its own. And we at Fine Taste really like to underline this aspect.

It is obviously perfect with dishes rich in meat, such as the traditional braised meat in Barolo, fillet with pepper, but it goes very well with dishes of stuffed pasta and medium/highly mature cheeses.

Don't forget to serve it at a temperature of 18-20°C, preferably in large glasses, taking care to open the bottle at least an hour before tasting.

Well, if the article has intrigued you and, above all, if you have become thirsty, then try our Barolo Revello, give yourself a gift.