Where to taste wine and eat when the wineries close for the evening?
Travelers who have visited the zone of Barolo know that wineries close up shop after 5:00 pm. We've done our rounds and found what we think are some of the best locales for tasting a nice glass of wine before, after, and evening during dinnertime. Our selection is tailored for those seeking wine bars that have a varied wine list with local producers; are lesser-known; serve excellent Piedmontese food; and have a pleasant atmosphere. Try these wine bars and let us know your favorite--from our list, or from your own experience!
Le Case della Saracca - Monforte
Monforte is a town just waiting to be discovered, a tangle of steep alleyways running between colorful homes and romantic corners. But, if there's one locale that has attracted lots of tourists and wine lovers in just the past few years, it's Le Case della Saracca: a wine bar, osteria, and hotel "spread out, obtained from excavating numerous Medieval houses and uniting the different floors and levels with games of niches, glass, and stone," creating a fascinating architectural layout. The wine list is comprehensive and includes Piedmontese, Italian, and international labels. We suggest you try the native wines, well-represented on the wine list, starting with the lesser-known producers. The buffet is delicious, full of traditional products and a selection of salumi from Piacenza and Emilia Romagna. Don't leave without chatting up the owner, Giulio Perini, who is always available for touristic and other information.
Wine Plus: Strikes a perfect balance between medieval yet contemporary in its atmosphere, with fascinating tricks of transparency
Via Cavour, 3 - 12065 - Monforte d'Alba (CN)
Tel.: +39 0173 789222 – Cell. +39 333 1918060
Hours: 6:30 pm - Midnight
Price per glass: from 6 €
Another wine shop in Monforte, but for those who don't want to climb the streets to reach Le Case della Saracca, is La Contessa Berta, a comfortable alternative. Situated in the lower piazza of Monforte (the first piazza upon arrival in the town), this art café and bed & breakfast is relaxing with its contemporary decorations, scaffolds full of books and magazines, and quite a few interesting, artsy objects! The idea of manager Emilio is, in fact, to pair wine with art, choosing each object personally. La Contessa Berta is the ideal place to fall in love with the wines of Monforte--the only wines on the list--and taste them in a peaceful corner of the town. And, in its environs that look out with a view of the piazza, pair your wines with snacks and cold dishes.
Wine Plus: The wines of Monforte in an atmosphere of minimalism and design
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1 Via Palestro, 2
12065 Monforte d'Alba (CN)
Tel. +39 0173 789010
Hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Price per glass: 3-8 €
More e macine
If you find yourself near La Morra, where Barolo is said to be at its most elegant, we suggest the wine bar-osteria More e Macine, in front of the pizzeria Per Bacco in the historical center of La Morra. This locale shows tradition and innovation in its architectural design, with its rounded arches and exposed brickwork with glass and stone detail, and in its cuisine, conducted by chef Andrew Manning, who proposes traditional dishes spiced with imagination. The service is welcoming and family-friendly with a 700-label wine list that includes international wines and the possibility to purchase bottles. The treat this place offers is its picnic takeaway: the restaurant gives the option of dishes "to go," allowing you to find a beautiful view in the vineyards and taste wines and food outdoors.
Wine Plus: A large selection of wines, great food, and good prices for its quality
Via XX settembre, 18 - 12064 La morra (CN)
Tel. +39 0173 500395
Hours: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Price per glass: 3-8 €
Closed Tuesday (always open during the Truffle Fair)
Fondazione E. Mirafiore – Serralunga
At the foot of the hills of Serralunga, Barolo, and La Morra, the Fondazione Mirafiore is unique of its kind. Since Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti purchased Fontanafredda, the wine bar-restaurant of the Foundation became an offshoot of Eataly in Barolo territory. It's an enoteca, a wine bar, a restaurant, and book store. But it's also a cultural center where, every week, important guests from all over Italy visit, including writers, directors, musicians, and actors. The interior is minimalist and fashionable, dominated by its Theater, a graduated surface similar to ancient Roman amphitheaters from which conferences and other events are held. As for wine tasting, you can't ignore the context: the building is a part of the historical village of Fontanafredda with its nineteenth century dwellings, vineyards that stretch into the distance, its lake, and its Forest of Thoughts where philosophy and literature walks are organized.
Wine Plus: Helpful staff, spacious environment, rich cultural program
Via Alba, 15 – Serralunga d'Alba (CN)
Tel. 0173 626424
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm, open in the evenings in case of events
Price per glass: 5-8 €
Centro Storico – Serralunga
In the shadow of one of the most impressive castles in the zone of Barolo, that of Serralunga, we suggest you take a pause for wine in the Historical Center of Alessio, who doesn't have roots in Piedmont but feels an extraordinary pull towards this region. Owner Alessio, a strong personality with a joke always at the ready a great love for wine, is the man behind the unique wine list, where Champagne makes an appearance next to Barolo wines. Dubbed "the champagneria," Centro Storico is the ideal place for those who are searching for particular labels, and for this it's not difficult to find yourself sitting next to the ultimate experts of local wine: Barolo producers. Next to the great wines that Alessio will be happy to recommend, don't forget to try some of the cuisine prepared by his wife. Perhaps you'll digest the bill a little bit better if you allow yourself to be tempted by some of the most prestigious bubbly wines there are!
Wine Plus: Prestigious labels from Piedmont and Champagne, excellent food
Via Roma, 6 - 12050 Serralunga D'Alba (CN)
Tel. +39 0173 613203
Hours: 11:00 am – Midnight
Price per glass: 3-10 €
Try these wine bars and let us know your favorite--from our list, or from your own experience!