The main grape varieties in the Barolo area are Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. There are of course other grapes that grow in the area, but the above mentioned are the main varieties. For my untrained eye, they just look like grapes. But each type has different characteristics, different leaves and of course different tastes.
Dolcetto grapes are used make what I call the “baby wine”. The word dolcetto means “little sweet one”, however the wines are not necessarily sweet. Dolcetto is typically dry, and are known for it’s black cherry and licorice flavors. The wine is light and easy to drink, an everyday wine.
Barbera is the next grape variety. The wines is heavier than dolcetto and is typically consumed with food. The wine has notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries. It is also known for it’s deep ruby color.
Nebbiolo is the king of Piemonte. If Nebbiolo is grown in the Barolo region, you can call it Barolo. But if it grows next door, in Barbaresco, then you have to call it Barbaresco. But in general nebbiolo is used for the big wines, the wines you can store for decades. And it’s one of the main attraction for wine lovers.