Appetizers for Italian Wine, Barolo for Wine Night

This month’s Wine Night party found us celebrating one of the best wines I’ve ever sipped. A Barolo from Italy. Barolo wines are derived from the Nebbiolo grape and are produced in Italy’s Piedmont region. Nebbiolo is a black-skinned red wine grape variety most famous for creating the ‘tar and roses’ scent that is prominent in Barolo wines. This is truly one of the world’s best red wines and is a prime example of a wine that gets better and better with age.

The usual suspects were in attendance, Tom, Kathy, Dan, Teri, Bob, me, the dogs and the Cheetos.

But the guest who mastered the table was the bottle of Renato Ratti, 2005. Garnet red in color, with traces of tobacco and licorice, it was full-flavored, full-bodied and elegant.

 Common sense dictated that red meat would be the perfect appetizer to serve alongside this generous wine, and Kathy was spot on with this wonderful platter of room temperature perfectly cooked beef tenderloin served on a sliced baguette that had been smeared with horseradish sauce, a sprinkle of arugula and then topped with either blue cheese or a shaving of Parmesan. A wonderful choice. The rich hearty flavors held up nicely with the full-bodied wine.

To our surprise, the smoked salmon platter seemed a great compliment to this wine, as well. I don’t know if this is more about the versatility of a Barolo wine, or the versatility of our group being world class snackers and sippers.

The rice crackers served as a great platform for a swipe of horseradish cream sauce, followed with a slice of Tillamook mild cheddar cheese and a chunk of Honey Smoked Fish Company Salmon. This is the company that advertises on television and sells their product at Costco. We like it.

Both of these dishes worked very well for appetizers for Italian Wine.

Dan and Teri brought a chaser bottle of a high scoring wine, Rivetto Barolo, 2007. Vivacious and packed with sweet berry, laced with leather and tobacco, long on the finish, we all raved. Thanks Dan and Teri.

From the kitchen of Lea Ann Brown


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  1. says

    I really like your collage and that beef appetizer looks to die for. We need to time our next trip west to match wine club night. I’m heading off now to the wine cellar to check out my suppy of Barolo’s.

    • Lea Ann says

      PicMonkey Larry. Easy to do. I’m going to do them for each wine night going forward and find off the wall past photos of everyone … since I never think to take many photos of people during the event. If you’ve got a barolo hiding in that cellar … chug it!

  2. says

    This was such a great post! I love learning about wines and the Italian varietals are new to me. They sound so delicious. That meat platter made me drool – what a perfect nosh with red wine. Maybe even better than Cheetos. 😉

  3. says

    Your nibbles looks great as usual. I too really like that salmon and sometimes buy it at King Soopers. I only wish it wasn’t farmed, but I still buy it every now and then ’cause its so darned good.

    • Lea Ann says

      Someone brought Cheetos as a joke early on in the history of our wine gatherings. It’s been a tradition ever since.


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