Ray Isle is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant - and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Dolcetto has a tough time getting the attention it deserves. Mainly its problem is that it’s grown in Piedmont, in Italy. The other red grapes that are grown in Piedmont? Well, first there’s Nebbiolo, the grape in Barolo, which means Dolcetto is competing against a beverage that’s been known since as the mid-1800s as “the wine of kings and the king of wines.” Not a fair fight.
Then there’s Barbera, which is kind of the Avis to Nebbiolo’s Hertz. It’s number two. It tries harder. Which leaves Dolcetto as, what, the Rent-a-Wreck of grapes?
So, Dolcetto. Go buy a bottle. Invite some friends over. Get a pizza. Drink the stuff. Don’t think about it—there are plenty of other things think about. Besides, how can you not love a grape whose name translates as “little sweet one?”
5 Dolcettos to Hunt Down
2009 Elio Grasso ($17)
2009 Cavallotto Vigna Scot ($16)
2009 Borgogno ($20)
2009 Massolino ($20)
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