Barolo Food Pairing

What food goes well with a bottle of Barolo? Many! This delicate, yet powerful red wine from Piedmont is made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. The dense tannins and delicious aromas of red fruit combine well with a wide range of foods, cheeses and snacks. In this wine guide you will find the best food for Barolo.

three truffles on a dark background

Published June 11th 2021

Barolo is one of the most famous Italian wines. It is known for its intense, yet delicate profile. It is a high quality wine which is sometimes called the king of Piedmont. It is also a food-friendly wine that pairs well with meat, truffles, pasta and cheeses. This wine guide will help you better understand Barolo wine and its best food pairings.

About Barolo wine

Barolo is the most famous wine from the Italian wine region Piedmont. It is made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Due to the translucent color of the wine, it is easy to mistake it for a light-bodied red. Barolo does have some characteristics of lighter reds, such as delicate aromas of red fruit and roses. When it comes to structure, Barolo is in fact a powerful full-bodied wine with high tannins, high alcohol and high acidity. The combination of delicate, yet powerful makes Barolo and interesting wine - especially together with food!

barolo sign in piedmont

Barolo wines have the typical aromas of the Nebbiolo grape: sweet flavours of cherry, rose, raspberry, combined with more richer aromas of leather, tar, liquorice and tobacco. This gives the Barolo its characteristic sweet, yet savoury profile. 

Nebbiolo vs Pinot Noir

Nebbiolo, the grape of Barolo, is sometimes confused with the popular grape Pinot Noir. The two grape varieties share some similarities, but they are also very different. It is important to be aware of the differences between Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir when pairing these wines with food.

Tips! If you want to know more about the best food Pinot Noir, you will find the answer in our wine guide about Pinot Noir Food Pairing.

How to pair Barolo with food

Barolo is an excellent wine to pair with many different types of foods. It pairs well with meat, strong cheeses, pizza and charcuterie. When pairing Barolo with food, you should take into account the wine’s strong tannins, high acidity, high alcohol and delicate aromas and match them with suitable foods. 

When pairing Barolo with food, it is important to take into consideration the following characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape:

Barolo is best served at 17-19°C (63-66°F). 

Barolo with meat

Barolo is a great wine to serve with different meat dishes. The rich tannins in combination with high alcohol and high acidity makes it a perfect match for veal, steak, lamb, pork and more. 

ribeye steak

Veal is common in the Piedmont cuisine, which makes it a good pairing. Pairing Barolo with steak is also a good idea. Barolo and lamb pair well, especially if the dish is rich and simple. Even lighter meat such as duck is a good pairing because of the delicate red fruit aromas in the wine. 

The key when pairing Barolo with meat dishes is to pair the wine with strong, but simple flavours. Good meat pairings for Barolo include: 

Barolo with pizza

One of the most classic (and popular!) food pairings for Barolo is Pizza. The high acidity in the wine cuts through the fat in the pizza and balances the acidity in the tomato sauce. Pair it with classic Neapolitan pizza flavours like margherita. 

napolitan pizza

Barolo with truffles or mushrooms

Try a bottle of Barolo with a truffle risotto. You will not be disappointed! It’s a classic pairing. The delicate and earthy aromas matches perfectly with the typical aromas of the truffles. Dishes with mushroom also pair very well with Barolo wine.

truffle risotto with mushrooms and foam

You can pair Barolo with basically anything with truffles: 

Barolo cheese pairing

What cheese goes best with Barolo? We recommend strong and powerful cheeses, such as Castelmagno, Gorgonzola or other blue cheese. Also hard salty cheese such as the Parmigiano or the Provolone are good choices. A Pecorino with truffles is of course a good choice.

blue cheese with fig, garlic and walnuts

Tips! If you want to know more about different types of cheeses and their perfect wine pairings, you can read about it in our wine and cheese guide.

Barolo snack pairing

Barolo is a great wine to meaty snacks, especially different cuts of cured hams and salami. Barolo is not only a good pairing with many types of charcuterie, but also with olives, chips and salty snacks. It is an excellent choice for snacks with truffles or mushroom. 

sliced salami

Barolo vegetarian food pairing

Barolo is an intense wine, but it still pairs well with many different types of vegetarian dishes. Thanks to its earthy and aromatic profile it is a great choice for heavier vegetarians dishes with mushrooms, nuts, truffles or strong cheeses. It also matches vegetarians dishes with roasted vegetables or tomatoes

chanterelle mushrooms in a basket

Tips! To learn more about the best wine for vegetarian dishes, we recommend our wine guide for vegetarian food.

Barolo pasta pairing

Barolo is an excellent pasta wine. Its fruity and earthy aromas pairs well with many different types of pasta. The high acidity makes it a good pairing to creamy sauces as well as tomato-based sauces

tomato pasta

Barolo with spicy food

Barolo might not be the first choice for spicy food due to its high tannins and intense style, but it can pair surprisingly well with moderately spiced Asian food. The red fruit aromas and high acidity in the wine pair well with many Asian flavours. Choose dishes with are not too spicy. Barolo also pairs with Indian food, especially rich curries. 

bibimbap

Barolo with desserts

Barolo is not the best wine for desserts, but if you want something sweet with your Barolo we recommend dark chocolate. Usually, a sweet wine is the best choice for a sweet dessert. In the case of Barolo, the contrast of sweet and dry can create an interesting pairing. Try extra dark chocolate with your bottle of Barolo. 

dark chocolate

Tips! If you want to have a red wine with your sweet dessert, we suggest you read our guide about Wine and Dessert Pairings.

Enjoy your Barolo wine with your food!