Learn about Dolcetto — taste profile, popular regions and more …
An easy drinking red with soft fruity flavors—but catchy tannins, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont while more serious Barolos and Barbarescos take their time to age. Here, this is the wine you are most likely to find on the table on a casual weekday night, or for apertivo (the canonical Piedmontese pre-dinner appetizer hour). In recent years Dolcetto has found some footing in California, but plantings are fairly limited outside of Italy.
Tasting Notes for Dolcetto
Dolcetto is a dry red wine with a moderate acidity and fairly high tannins. The name translates to “little sweet one,” and though the wines produced are typically not sweet in terms of residual sugar, they are full of juicy red cherry and blueberry, with occasional hints of chocolate and baking spice.
Perfect Food Pairings for Dolcetto
Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety and works well paired with tomato-based or pesto pasta dishes, pizza, roasted or cured meat and spanakopita.
Sommelier Secrets for Dolcetto
In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the secondary sites—the best of which are reserved for the king variety: Nebbiolo. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper and a more serious style of Dolcetto, many of which can improve with cellar time.
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Fattoria Enotria Dolcetto 1998Dolcetto from Mendocino, California
Pio Cesare Dolcetto 1998Dolcetto from Piedmont, Italy