Nebbiolo with fish? Yes, it is possible! Hidden in the mountains to the North of villages you’ve heard of, like Barbaresco and Barolo, are planted a smattering of Nebbiolo vines in less-known communes like Sella and Lessona. Here, Nebbiolo does not produce the large-scaled wines that have made Barolo famous. Instead, you get the beautiful fragrances of fine Nebbiolo, bright red cherry fruit, and much softer tannins. And it’s the softness of the tannins, when combined with a thirst-quenching acidity that comes from mountain freshness, that results in a pretty good fish red.
I’m not talking about Ghemme or Gattinara. Those Alta Piemonte classics are still steak wines. But Monsecco’s Nebbiolo “Pratogrande” 2009 will do the trick, especially at its accessible price of $21.99. It’s a very pretty wine for the money — not necessarily something that will make you pause and think, but definitely something that will make you keep drinking! For me it’s a household go-to for just about any Italian food — including seafood.