With nearly 2,000 indigenous grapes from Italian soil, one could spend their entire life drinking exclusively Italian wine and not even come close to understanding each and every grape variety. I have come to realize over my years of tasting that not all of these grapes are worth searching out. Good portions of them have remained scarce for a reason. However, the best of these can provide amazing wine drinking experiences.
Of all of these grapes I’ve experienced, one of most overall appealing grapes is Dolcetto. “Little sweet one,” its English translation, these grapes are rarely, if ever, made into to sweet wines. This red grape grows best in the cool, hillside vineyards of Piedmont in northern Italy. Extremely fruity with moderate acidity by nature, Dolcetto has the unfortunate ability to result in thin, flabby wines if picked and vinified poorly. But under the right hands, Dolcetto can be very focused with intense aromas of dark cherries, violets, and even chocolate. On the palate it offers lush, ripe and deep fruit, and intensity often unmatched by wines twice the price. If the above flavor profile appeals to you, then you should definitely try and hunt some bottles down; you will not be sorry (and you’re wallet will thank you as well). A couple of my recent favorites include: