Ah, the pleasures of Piedmont: Here, in the land of Benvenuto I found it easy to indulge in the simple delights of the fresh markets, personal interaction with top wine producers, and visits to historic castles.
Dolcetto’s reputation in some quarters as an easy-drinking, even insubstantial, wine is challenged here. This is an elegant example of what Dolcetto can be in the right hands. Perfumed, floral nose with black cherry and anise arising out of the glass. A complex mix that includes blackberry and a dusting of pepper washes across the palate. Finish is longer than I expected it to be, although still a bit tannic. Have with roast pork (porchetto) or a prosciutto-laden pizza. Highly recommended. GT
The color is very pretty and bright, ruby with a fizz of bubbles. The nose is rose petals and sweet strawberries. This is definitely a sweet sparkler, a fizzy blend of raspberry and strawberry sherbert, with a little rosewater making a floral appearance on the mid-palate. There is a surprising amount of acid for such an moderately priced sweet wine, suggesting it might be food friendly if paired with a moderately sweet creamy dessert, perhaps a raspberry-topped creme brulee. The goal in such a pairing is to match and complement, rather than contrast. Recommended. DH
Fans of Adam Sandler (yes, they still exist) will tell you that his films are not meant to be profound; they're meant to make you laugh. They're easily forgotten, but can provide a pleasant distraction for a short while. Fans of Dan Brown (I think they still exist) tend to concede that his books are meant to offer quick, easy reading, entertainment that doesn't probe too deeply.
A thick tome, 132 years old, has survived to tell the story of Piedmont's grape-growing past. That is, if you can decipher the flowery penmanship and wade through the anachronistic turns of phrase. There, in a section on grape varieties in the book called “Wine Production and Oenology in the Province of Cuneo, 1879”, lies both the question and, perhaps, the answer to one of the region's great mysteries.