Dolcetto

Dolcetto is a black wine grape varietal widely grown in the Piemonte region of northwest Italy. While the most favorable growing sites in this region are reserved for Barolo and Barbaresco, winemakers plant Dolcetto widely where the temperamental Nebbiolo grape doesn't thrive. While Dolcetto, the "everyday" wine of Piemonte, is not made to age but rather intended for more immediate consumption, these plantings allow the winemakers who produce Barolo and Barbaresco to earn immediate revenue while their Nebbiolo-based wines mature. 

Translating into English as "little sweet one," Dolcetto makes brightly colored wines, reddish-purple in hue, with aromas of blackberries and plums. These wines, on release, are generally wonderfully fruity, with soft tannins. 

Dolcetto is especially versatile with food. It has some acidity, and some tannins, but not too much of either of these qualities to eliminate certain food options, thus Dolcetto will not overwhelm more delicate seafood dishes and will pair well with tomato-based pastas, pizzas and meat dishes, including game, duck, both savory and spiced lamb sausages, smoked ham, paella, cheese-based pastas, root vegetables and beans, mushrooms and grilled or roasted meats. 

Cheeses that go well with Dolcetto include Asiago, Boursin, Brie and Camembert (without rinds), Chevre, Colby, Emmental, Feta, Fontina, Gouda, Havarti, Le Chevrot, Locatelli, Mahon, Manchego, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Provolone, Roncal, Serena, St. Andre and Tomme de Savoie.