Rarely seen outside its native home in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont, Nebbiolo takes its name from the word "nebbia" (fog), prevalent in the area during harvest time. Top-end Nebbiolo hails from vineyards within Barolo and Barbaresco. These wines are generally long-lived, frequently drinking well for ten years or more. At the value end, many excellent bottles are produced from younger vines of these top vineyards, as well as from lesser-known areas in Piedmont.
Famed for their complex aromas featuring roses, violets, earth, tar, currants and dried fruits, these wines are sophisticated and incredibly food-friendly. Traditional pairings include roasted meats, mushrooms, veal and lamb -- basically anything bold and rich enough to combat the high levels of tannin and acidity that these wines (especially when young) tend to possess.