Regional Varieties: Barbera, Nebbiolo, Arneis, Timorasso, Moscato, Cortese, Croatina, Freisa, Grignolino, Ruchè, Pelaverga, Bonarda.
Regional Foods: Truffles, Vitello Tonnato, Carne Cruda, Ravioli al plin.
In a country that takes its food and wine seriously, Piemonte seems even more serious. First there’s the famous truffles, followed by the terroir-loving Nebbiolo grape, which has drawn those looking for wines more etched with fruit than sculpted.
It's also a region that filled with overlapping wine zones and a bevy of valid red and white grapes; you could spend years winding your way through the various wines and dishes. There’s 44 DOC wines and at least eight DOCG.
One way of superficially understanding the enological madness would be to give the Nebbiolo grape due attention from the rest of the varieties. It’s one of a handful of Italian varieties that ages for the long haul. And the zingy nervous tones of the grape in the north (Carema, Gattinara, Lessona, etc.) ring differently from the bass notes of Serralunga D’Alba in eastern Barolo.
While waiting for your Nebbiolo to age, dig into those daily drinkers: Arneis which, with its almost spritzy liveliness is easy to love, Timorasso, with its complex riesling-like nose, and the classic Cortese of Gavi fame that’s crisp and minerally. The reds, too: zesty red fruit Barbera (the perfect tomato sauce companion) or the lesser known Freisa, Grignolino, and Dolcetto.