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When I am the emperor of reality, after the bazillion dollars and the private island and the sudden ascent to George Clooney-like savoir faire, I am going to give Dolcetto a little boost. It’s a nifty grape. It makes juicy, lively, affordable and delicious reds, with a flavor that suggests black cherries and a faint, intriguing touch of bitterness. Dolcetto isn’t meant for deep thought but simply for happy drinking. You can chill it lightly. You can serve it with burgers. Hey, you could put it in a CamelBak and take it up a mountain. Dolcetto is fine with that. It would make me think of my Italian grandmother back in Alba and her great homemade agnolotti, except that I’m mostly Irish plus some random Welsh-German craziness and the only thing I remember my grandmother cooking was toast.
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
1. 2009 Elio Grasso ($17) The rich fruit here recalls pomegranate rather than cherry.
2. 2008 Renato Ratti Colombè ($15) Mild tannins make this a good candidate for a light chill; an ideal picnic red, in other words.
3. 2009 Cavallotto Vigna Scot ($16) Dark fruit and soft tannins make this a good introduction to the Dolcetto variety.
4. 2009 Borgogno ($20) An old-school producer making old-school wine: earthy and herbal, rather than fruity and ripe.
5. 2009 Massolino ($20) Clear, precise flavors define this streamlined red.
Related Links:Bargain Wines Bottles from the Best Blogging Winemakers
(Pictured above: Try pairing Mario Batali's Spicy Stewed Sausages with Three Peppers with a great Dolcetto)