Wine for Fall Foods

Mon, Sep 12, 22

Wine for Fall Foods

Even though we have carried wines from Cantina Pietro Rinaldi for the last three years, strangely, I don’t think I have ever tasted the Barbaresco. Rinaldi’s Barolo was exceptional, scoring 94 points with an astonishing low price of $30. It was one of my Go-To-Wines. Unfortunately, we are completely out of that wine. With the slight chill of fall weather, I needed something to match with Osso Bucco. When looking for a food/wine match, I try to use something regionally appropriate to the cuisine, especially when the whole dinner will focus on one area. The Nebbiolo grape definitely needs some food pairings to reach full potential as with the majority of Italian wines.

Barbaresco is a somewhat overlooked region in Italy. More specifically, it is overshadowed by its big brother “Barolo.” Both wine regions center around the town of Alba in Piedmont. Barolo is just Southeast of the city while Barbaresco is North and West. Both areas almost exclusively use the Nebbiolo grape for their red wines. At least for me, Barbaresco tends to be a bit easier to drink in its youth, while Barolos tend to need a little bottle age to shed their tannins. At eight years old, the Rinaldi Barbaresco is at its prime and will be for a few more years.

A little bit about the winery and the wine… Cantina Pietro Rinaldi has been producing wines for over four generations. The San Cristoforo Barbaresco is a single vineyard expression. The vineyard is located in Nieve. The vineyard is at the top of a hill with south eastern exposure, but the vineyards are so high on the hill that they get nearly 360 degree of sunlight. As with all Barbarescos, it is 100% Nebbiolo. The grapes are harvested by hand in the first half of October and, after a week of fermentation, the wine is aged in oak casks for 16-18 months. The vineyard utilizes both new and one time use barrels for ageing.

There is an intense ruby red color with garnet reflections. This is one of the best characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape. The wine is not dark nor deep in color but rather it lets light interact and it shimmers and shines like a gemstone. Typical of Nebbiolo, I find violet in the nose. The nose is rounded out by rose petals and minerals. This particular wine also offers a bit of Balsamic, definitely due to its age. The wine is still very fresh in the mouth which is rather remarkable since it is nearly eight years old. It reveals a very elegant style with a warm, enticing finish buffered by velvety tannins. Although I picked this wine to match with Osso Bucco, this wine will match perfectly with many of the hearty fall type dishes, a nice minestrone, chili, beef stew, and of course, pasta.

We are on the very last bit of this wine. As I write this email, our Fairview Heights location is out of stock. There are 9 bottles at our North County location, 12 bottles at our Jefferson location and 25 bottles at our Manchester location. With the small amount left at the different locations, I suggest ordering it from If the store you normally shop at has sold out, please order it from one of the other locations and specify the store you want to pick it up at during the checkout process. We can transfer between our Missouri locations. It may take an extra day or so, but we will get it to the correct location and contact you when it’s ready for pickup.