Little Sweet One

Yes, it is a wine - albeit the name of a delightful Italian red wine, Dolcetto. It is one of my favorites from the Piedmont region in Italy where Barolo and Barbaresco are king but the locals drink Dolcetto as an everyday treat. Whereas Barolo and Barbaresco, made from the nebbiolo grape, need years to evolve, the Dolcetto is generally a wine to buy and drink young. And, the wine is usually priced under $25.

While the name means "little sweet one," Dolcetto is dry, though very fruity. It has relatively little acid and not much tannin, making it so easy to drink it becomes almost gulpable. It tends to have a very dark appearance, a fruity nose of blackberries or blueberries, a dry finish and slight hints of chocolate and maybe some herbs. It pairs beautifully with just about any Italian food as well as other casual dishes, especially those with tomato and herb sauces.

Dolcetto is made in selected spots all around Piedmont, but the best wines generally come from near Alba (dolcetto d'Alba) and from around the small village of Dogliani (dolcetto di Dogliani), which calls itself the birthplace of dolcetto.

So prepare an Italian meal, after selecting a Dolcetto. Chill the bottle in the refrigerator for an hour or so to get it to cellar temperature (55 degrees) - and then let it warm so you can see how it changes. This will add a whole new dimension of fun to a wine that's meant to be fun anyway.

Durella DeGrasse
Certified Wine Professional

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