Some things are universal - when a few ladies get together with a beautiful bottle of wine the conversation flows, laughs are shared, and the stress of the day just melts away. Those joyful feelings are multiplied when the wine is from the renowned Italian producer Marchesi di Barolo and one of the women is carrying on the legacy of her winemaking family.
I first met Valentina Abbona three years ago when she was translating for her father, Marchesi di Barolo winemaker Ernesto Abbona, at a tasting in New York City. Marchesi di Barolo is truly a family business - her mother Anna and younger brother Davide also play important roles in operations. Today, Valentina travels the world representing the winery and sharing her lifelong knowledge of the vino that her family has been creating for over five generations.
For our girls night out, Valentina treated us to an impressive selection of Marchesi di Barolo wines. Each wine had a unique story and was a beautiful expression of the terroir in Piedmont (northern Italy) and the grapes of that region. Here are three Marchesi di Barolo wines that I recommend for your next ladies night. Fine wines don't have to be intimidating - they can be fun!
Maraia Barbera del Monferratto DOC 2014 ($10)
Maraia translates into little rascals in the Piedmontese dialect and this playful little wine is a perfect match for some sassy conversation with friends. Made from 100% Barbera, one of Piedmont's signature grapes, this aromatic wine has zesty flavors of sour cherry and berries with just a hint of vanilla and oak. An unpretentious dry wine with agile acidity.
Barolo Tradizione DOCG 2010 ($55)
Barolo is one of Italy's most important wines, renowned for big bold flavors and incredible aging potential. The acidity of the Nebbiolo grape allows Barolo to maintain an impressive level of freshness and vitality as the wine ages. This is a wine you can enjoy 10-20 years from now, but even with only 5 years of aging, this Barolo shows impressive structure with a beautiful tapestry of flavors - dark berries, licorice, earth, and cacao. Spicy but soft with velvety tannins.
Cannubi Barolo DOCG 2011 ($100)
Cannubi is absolutely one of my favorites from the Marchesi di Barolo portfolio. Cannubi is an important hill with a unique microclimate that imbues the Nebbiolo grapes with incredible finesse, balance, and elegance. Yes, this wine will age beautifully but it is already quite expressive and refined with a hint of spice, herbal notes, and a lovely long finish. A very special vino that will make any evening and meal more memorable.
If you're planning a trip to Barolo, Marchesi di Barolo welcomes visitors at their winery and restaurant.