We had a couple of wines from Northern Italy this weekend.  They were both tasted with an aged Gouda from Bedford Cheese Shop and dark chocolate with sea salt, almonds, and olive oil from Mast Brother’s Chocolate.  The wines could not be more different in style and taste, but it was prudent to have the 2005 Terre del Barolo first as it is more delicate than the 2006 La Vigilia Amarone.  In fact, you can’t really even compare the two wines they are so different in style.  Amarone is a heavy weight, while the Barolo is more fly weight, for example.  They both went well with our chocolate and cheese though.

Terre del Barolo 2005 Barolo $30.00

This was an impulse purchase at Uva Wines in Brooklyn.  I thought $30 buck for a 2005 Barolo, let’s give it a whirl.  I did find this bottle of wine a bit cheaper on the internet, by the way.  But the description they had at Uva hooked me, “Yes, this really tastes like Barolo, even at this price.”  And, in fact, it’s true.  This is Barolo at $30, or less if you shop around.  It was not the biggest or most interesting Barolo ever, but it would easily pair with a nice bowl of pasta or a pizza.  It was light to medium in body, and there were aromas of fig, tar, caramel, and sour cherry.  The acidity was very fresh as well and cut the richness of the Gouda cheese.  If I could get this a bit cheaper I would consider keeping a couple bottles around.  Normally a decent 2005 Barolo needs a few more years to mature, since this one is on the lighter side, I think it is drinking well now.  RECOMMENDED

La Vigilia Amarone Valpolicella 2006 $25.00

This is a bottle my good friend Aaron recently brought over.  We did not get a chance to drink it together, and I could not resist cracking into it.  We both really love Amarone, though it is a wine which can be difficult to pair, as it has a very distinctive character due to how it is made.  But it went well with the cheese and chocolate, but in a more dessert-like fashion.  Amarone is different from other wines, in that the grapes are partially dried prior to pressing, as opposed to being pressed right away with most wines.  This concentrates the sugars and gives the wine a very concentrated sweet fruit character.  It tastes like you added a dash of port to a red wine, for example.  It is a wine that drinks great on its own, but it is a big wine.  14.5% alcohol.  The La Vigilia had a dark redish brown brick color, there is a nose of cherry pie, petrol, and spiced holiday cake.  There is also a rich vanilla note, and a slight tartness and slightly dry tannins.  Could even use a couple more years to come together, but delicious now.  RECOMMENDED