Dolcetto [dohl-CHEHT-oh]

Dolcetto grapes make a dark fruit forward red wine that is usually lower in acidity with tannins. Dolcetto wines are dark in color with dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, plums in the bouquet & palate. Dolcetto can also have bitter chocolate after taste and floral notes such as violets in the bouquet.

Dolcetto goes well with food and is very versatile. In Piemonte Dolcetto is served with an array of antipasti plates as well as main dishes. Dolcetto's subtle acidity and soft tannins won't overwhelm delicate seafood dishes but, it's structure also pairs nicely with tomato-based pastas, meat and vegetable dishes.

Dolcetto wines should be drunk young (within a year or so) before the fruit starts to fade. There are seven DOCs for Dolcetto, all in the Piedmont region. They are...

  1. Dolcetto d'Alba
  2. Dolcetto d'Aqui
  3. Dolcetto d'Asti
  4. Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba
  5. Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi
  6. Dolcetto di Dogliani
  7. Dolcetto d'Ovada

Many good Dolcetto comes from the Langhe - the region in southern Piemonte around the major town of Alba. Many of these wines are labeled Dolcetto d'Alba. You'll also see the names Dolcetto di Dogliani and Dolcetto di Diano d'Alba, which indicate wines from more specific regions around the smaller towns of Dogliani and Diano. These two locations are traditional centers of Dolcetto production, and their wines are worth seeking out.

This variety's also grown in the Piemonte's neighboring region Liguria, where it's known as Ormeasco. Other names for Dolcetto include Dolsin and Dolsin Nero.

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