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Thursday, August 2, 2012

DOLCETTO…Piedmont’s Little Secret Wine

Even if you’re a well-seasoned traveler to Italy, you may not know this wine.  Primarily made in the Piedmont (Piemonte) district, Dolcetto is little known to those who live outside of Italy.  After all, the spot light is on Piedmont’s world renown Barolo and Barbaresco.  Well-crafted Dolcetto, however, is no ugly step-sister.

Made from the Dolcetto grape, this darkly colored dry wine pairs very well with food due to its moderate acid structure.  Flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum, licorice and nuances of almonds further work well with the local cuisine.  Modern vineyard practices and more advanced winemaking have taken this once simple table wine to new heights.  Dolcetto is not typically placed in expensive French oak barrels, nor does it require aging.  For the consumer, this translates to a fair-priced wine that can be drunk young. 

Some of my favorite producers of Dolcetto are Spinetta, Elvo Cogno and Paolo Scavino.  Most of these are available online in the U.S. for under $30.   If you’re coming on the October tour to Piedmont, we’ll be visiting these producers.  I suspect that after the tour, Dolcetto will no longer be a secret.

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