It’s easy to be intimidated by big, bad, bold Barolo, the delightful wine from the Piedmont in Italy made from nebbiolo. It needs time in-bottle to even its tannins, it’s usually not cheap, and you feel like you need to make a perfect porterhouse to pair it with. But relax, there’s this Fontanafredda (suggested retail $45) from one of the historic producers from the region.
The 2011 is just coming into its prime drinking age — don’t worry about how it’s already a bit brown-orange, that’s typical — so give it some time to decant and breathe. Then the nose will hit you with fruit and forest floor, and then you’ll enjoy the dried cherry, herb, and anise notes that linger into the long finish (ah, those tannins). It’ll work with a pasta rich with roasted vegetables and feta as much as a juicy steak, really.