Winebird’s top 10 Vinalogies

1: Nebbiolo – The ladyboy

You are standing in a dingy Milanese club, drink in hand, waiting for the show to start. The lights go down and the stage fills with fog. A figure steps forward into the spotlight. A woman. You think you recognise her; the slim body, the elegance, the pale skin. She has the figure of a ballerina at first glance, but no. There’s something different. You can’t quite put your finger on it.

After her set, you approach her. Her perfume is seductive: violets and rose petals, but with undertones of something darker. LiquoriceTar? She speaks. You expect French, but her accent is Italian. Local. Still, there’s something different. You get talking. You take her home. You go upstairs. You slowly undress her, and then wham! You discover that something different… This grape has balls!

Nebbiolo can look as graceful and feminine as a Pinot Noir, but once you get it in your mouth, there’s no comparison. It’s all male! Nebbiolo is an intriguing paradox, especially with a bit of age on it because it’s pale, perfumed and delicate in appearance and aroma, but is full bodied, has high acidity and lots of tooth-drying tannin once you get it in your mouth. It makes wine that can go on for years and not lose power. Think roses and violets, tar and truffles.

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