Nebbiolo Wine Guide: Grape, Made, Characteristics, Serve

What is Nebbiolo wine? Well, it is a wine that can surprise you in more ways than one. For starters, it can have your hand chopped off!

Do not go running off just yet, though. Drinking the wine will not cause your hand to fall off. However, word has it that if you were born in the olden times and chopped off its vine, you have to pay with your hand for it!

As you can see, this wine is an esteemed one. With that, you might be wondering what is so special about it. Well, we will answer that today. Without further ado, let us dive right into this wine, then!

An Overview of the Nebbiolo Wine


As we have said, this wine will surprise you in more ways than one. With that, check out this overview to get an idea about the Nebbiolo wine before we delve deeper.
















 Cherries and Roses

The Nebbiolo wine is a bold red wine generally known to be dry, highly acidic, tannic, and alcoholic. Additionally, it is full-bodied. However, when it comes to flavors and aromas, it is best known to have notes of cherries and roses.

What Is the Nebbiolo Grape?

The Nebbiolo grape is an old red wine grape that goes centuries back. It has dark skin, but it makes light-hued wines. Yes, you read that right. Wines. The Nebbiolo wine is not the only wine to use the Nebbiolo grape.

When talks of this grape come up, the Barolo and Barbaresco wines would also likely make it to the conversation! With that, one might think this grape could be easy to cultivate. However, that is not the case. This grape is one of the fussiest ones out there.

Where Can the Nebbiolo Grape Be Found?

The Nebbiolo grape often gets the best lands. No one is sure whether it originated from the Italian regions of Piedmont or Lombardy. Despite that, today, it is known to be Piedmont’s grape. It could be hard to find it anywhere else, with it being a fussy vine, hence why it gets the best lands.

However, other regions are already trying their hands with this grape. It is now also in some parts of California, Oregon, Mexico, Australia, and South Africa.

Like with most grapes, though, Nebbiolo grapes grown in different places will have similar but distinct characteristics, especially since this grape is terroir-expressive.

How Is the Nebbiolo Wine Made?


Different winemakers have distinct ways of making this wine. Traditionally, the whole process takes a long time. That is, from the vine, where it is often one of the last to ripen up to aging, where some believe it needs a decade to age.

Additionally, it is one of the wines with the longest maceration period. However, new technology and styles today have helped make the wine approachable even when young.

What Are the Characteristics of the Nebbiolo Wine?

We got to know the grape. Additionally, we also got to know about the process. Now, it is time to get to know the wine better. Here, let us talk about the wine itself.



With the color of this wine, some might take this wine for a rosé. However, make no mistake. The Nebbiolo wine is a red wine variety. Albeit not as known, there is also a sparkling Nebbiolo wine that fans of the fizz could enjoy.


Generally, this wine is dry. There are a few sweet varieties of it. However, you might have trouble hunting down a bottle of sweet Nebbiolo wine as it is not as known.


The Nebbiolo wine is known for many things, and being highly acidic is one of those things. Anyone who has had a glass of this wine will likely not forget to note that it is highly acidic.


The tannicity of this wine is one of its surprises. It is probably one of the most tannic wines you will come across. It has a tannicity that you will likely feel in your whole mouth even after you have finished a glass.



This wine is also highly alcoholic. It can reach around 15% ABV.


This wine might lure you in, looking and smelling light. However, make no mistake! It is a full-bodied wine.


Finally, let us talk about the notes of the Nebbiolo wine.

As we have said above, some of the most prominent notes of this wine are cherries and roses. However, as you might already know, almost all wines are complex and have a wide array of flavors and aromas. Here are some of the other notes one can expect from a bottle of this wine:

  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Cranberry
  • Leather
  • Raspberry
  • Tar
  • Tobacco
  • Truffle
  • Violet

As you probably already know, some notes will be more notable than others, depending on where the grape came from and the winemaking style employed.

Tips When Buying Nebbiolo Wine


With all that, you might now want to get your hands on a bottle of Nebbiolo wine. Well, let us talk about some tips before you take one home.

How Much Does the Nebbiolo Wine Cost?

The price tag of this wine could be a good indicator if a bottle is of quality or not. Generally, a bottle of this wine comes with a hefty price tag. However, its high value should not be a surprise considering all the hardships of bringing the grape into the bottle into account.

For starters, as we have said, the grape is a fussy one. It does not only get the best land because of the respect for the wine but because anything else could be detrimental to the grape. For another, again, as we have discussed, the vine takes a long time to turn into wine.

As you can see, along with money, lots of time and effort also goes into bringing the vine to shelves and tables. In this sense, seeing a hefty price tag can be a comfort. In a way, it shows how much resources went into a bottle.

With all that, splurging on this wine could be ideal for a good bottle. However, one could get a decent bottle at around $15.

Nebbiolo Wines to Try Out

There are many Nebbiolo wines out there, and knowing which one to get could be overwhelming. With that, here are some bottles you might want to seek out while you are still exploring:




Giuseppe Rinaldi Langhe Nebbiolo

~ $85

● Floral Aromas

● Herby Flavors

Vietti ‘Perbacco’ Langhe Nebbiolo

~ $25

● Oak and Coffee Aromas

● Cherry, Espresso, and Herby Flavors

Ester Canale Rosso Langhe Nebbiolo

~ $135

● Red Fruit Notes

Giovanni Rosso Langhe Nebbiolo

~ $20

● Ruity and Floral Notes

Seek the Sommelier

On the other hand, it could be these wines are not in your local winery or wine shop. You do not need to fret, though. There are many other Nebbiolo wines that you can try. If you do not know which one you should try, you can seek the help of the sommelier. Do not be afraid to approach one. Even seasoned oenophiles sometimes still seek the help of sommeliers.

How to Serve Nebbiolo Wine?


We have discussed the Nebbiolo grape, how it becomes wine, the wine itself, and what bottle to get. Now, let us talk about how to serve it.

Many Nebbiolo wines are best aged. However, you do not need to worry. There are also bottles that you can enjoy when young.

Once you open this wine, we recommend you let it breathe first. As we have said, this wine is highly tannic. You want to soften things down a bit and not skip on decanting.

If you truly want to appreciate this wine, you can drink it on its own. However, with its characteristics, it might be best to enjoy it with a meal. With that, let us talk about the dishes you might want to pair with this wine next.

One last thing before we move, though. If it will be the first time you will be drinking this wine, you might want to keep its characteristics in mind. As we have said, this wine can look and smell friendly, but it sure can pack a punch. Do not be deceived!

What Food Goes with the Nebbiolo Wine?

You know what they say: what grows together, goes well together. The same is true for the Nebbiolo wine, but that is not all! While it might not be surprising to know that it can go well with a variety of Italian dishes, you might not know that it pairs well with an array of Asian cuisines too!

Final Words

What is Nebbiolo wine? Today, we answered this question and got to know the Nebbiolo wine. We hope we can help you today. However, there are still so many wines to get to know. Head on over to our other talks now to get acquainted with the other wines only waiting for you to get to know!

Nebbiolo Wine Guide

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