Barolo, the wine of kings and the king of wines
Barolo is a powerful red wine made in the Piedmont region of northern Italy from the Nebbiolo grape, whose flavors include chocolate, licorice, figs, leather and tar. Many feel that it is Italy's best wine, but be careful, not all bottles are top of the line. Traditionally Barolo may be aged for decades before drinking, but recent vintages can be enjoyed a few years after bottling. Suggested food pairings include Lamb Chops, Roast Lamb, Osso Buco (Veal Shanks), Game Steak, Wild Boar, and Pasta topped with local Truffles.
Barolo starts at about $40 and goes up from there. You may want to start with a Beni di Batasiolo Barolo. Flavors include tobacco, plum, and white pepper. You may want to decant this Barolo, or really all of them for several hours before serving. The Vietti Barolo Rocche at about $65 is quite something, especially if you like tannic wines. You also get mocha, chocolate, and cherries. A quick search on the Internet revealed more expensive Barolos, often in 1.5 or 3 liter bottles. When you think about it, $400 for a three liter bottle works out to (only) $100 a regular bottle. Of course there is no such thing as a regular bottle of Barolo. Let me warn you, I and most of my wine tasting group were disappointed in a blind tasting to find out such and such a wine was a Barolo. There was nothing wrong with the wine; it just wasn't first rate. Barolo on the label is no guarantee of quality.