Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dolcetto D’Alba – A Red Wine genuine as the land itself

Red wines, White wines, Rose’ wines there are so many choices. Italy alone produces over 2,000 varieties of wines. Everyone in the world is producing wine. Some of these wines are good some are not. The difference is the reason for which the wine is made. Many experts will say that the industrial techniques used today make better wines. The flavor, from year to year, is more consistent. They are not cloudy, they can be made faster, cheaper, better. It reminds me of the soundtrack for the Six Million Dollar Man, obviously followed by the Bionic Woman. Certain parts of the body may have been stronger and faster but what separates Man from Beast, the capability to reason, cannot be changed. To think of it, I am reminded of athletes on steroids, sure they may hit the baseball farther but they grow breasts and their ‘palle’ shrink. Perhaps we are not as advanced as we think we are. Perhaps, this is just a thought, the techniques and processes developed over thousands of years of passionate artisans are better than what we have created in the last years with all of our technological breakthroughs.

Dolcetto D’Alba is both a vine and a wine. Grown, produced and bottled in a small area in Piemonte, land of Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Barolo, Barbara, Arneis and Moscato. Dolcetto means ‘a little sweet’ however this wine is anything but a sweet wine. It is not widely sold outside of the region although it does have its passionate fans. Dolcetto is an antique vine. Grown early in the Roman Empire, Dolcetto is a farmer’s wine. It is an everyday wine, often bottled at home or directly by the local trattoria and served in bottiglioni, 1.5 liter bottles with a pressure cap.

Its color is deep ruby red with intense purple highlights in the foam that forms when pouring. The bouquet is that of fresh wine, intense and fruity. The flavor is that of mature fruits, Bing Cherries and dark Prunes. The taste is that of the earth, dry and full bodied, slightly bitter with a hint of acidity and a harmonious finish. In Cuneo it is served slightly below room temperature. I have seen the bottle placed under running well water about ½ hour before serving. Not as cold as a white, maybe just a couple of degrees cooler than an aged red.

This is not an industrial wine. Its flavor will fluctuate from year to year but it will always be good. It is one of those wines that you drink with dinner, you never really notice the wine but everything just seems right. Best of all it is a good value. A full bodied red wine that is priced like a white. Dolcetto is not spectacular, nothing to write a book about, just a good, everyday wine. Pair this wine with just about any fall or winter dish. Red meats, roasts, pasta with red sauces are all good matches.

I have tried the Prunotto, Bricco Bastia by Conterno Fantino, Bricco Maiolica and the Elvio Cogno. They are good, good to the last drop.


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Blogger Unknown said...

Ok - the first pic makes me think of ICE wine.. That stuff is incredible but at $60 a bottle here, enough to have us pass it up.

The other vine is so tempting and well I'll have to tell P about your recommendation. We'll try it for sure.


8:00 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Expat Dolcetto is less famous than its brothers in the region thus it costs less. You can find a good bottle for between $12-20.

Let me know what you think.

2:58 PM

Blogger Lana said...

Oh now you did it. I am craving a glass of some nice German Liebfraumilch. Hubby is German and that is an AWESOME wine.

12:47 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Bozette Yes I had it with wild duck and the bread dumplings. I do not write about German wines but, for those who read, this is an interesting wine.

3:42 PM


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