The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

O solo mio…

How I disappeared into this wine! Breath taken, I completely forgot that my partner was sitting across the table from me, and that I had cooked him this lovely birthday dinner. Moreover, the ricotta and spinach manicotti and insalate verde could wait in line for the Massolino to take its turn! Alright, truth be told – I did not ignore him for long. What is a wine lover to do? We were both engulfed by the Dolcetto, and, of course, the meal too.

Purchased for $24.99 at the Specialty BCLDB at Alberni and Bute in downtown Vancouver, I was pleased to discover this wine. Tim Ellison, Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage Services at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, recommended this Italian beauty for this especially lovely occasion. I was amused with this vino’s depth and backbone, and quite literally, spent a respectable amount of time sipping and discovering it.

Photo Copyright Valerie Stride 2012

Dolcetto d’Alba by Massolino

Oh, the discovery…

Oh, the beauty…

Oh, the… Fine. I’ll get on with it.

Fact: Piedmont is famous for its reds. In the northern parts of Italy, one can find Dolcetto grapes (in addition to Barbera and Nebbiolo) being made into wine. Coming from the sub-region of Alba, this Massolino product shone with the most beautiful garnet colour. Because of the pigmentation in the skins of the Dolcetto varietal, it does not take long for the wine to develop a very deep colour during masceration. In most cases, lighter-bodied varietals will not be as dark as the Dolcetto due to that difference in pigmentation. First sniffs revealed a fruity, yeasty, and animalistic bouquet. A closer look exposed hints of black cherry alongside a horse and barnyard aroma, and it led me to visualize what this small place in Italy is all about. (I always take the opportunity to close my eyes and try and put myself wherever the wine was made. Winemakers want the consumer to experience where the soil was tilled, the vines planted, and the grapes grown and harvested. The beauty of winemaking lies in the attempt by the winemaker to capture this combination of things.) Dolcetto tends to be on the dry, light to medium-body side of the scale, and this product stood true to that fact. Specifically, this Dolcetto d’Alba was well-balanced, and the oaky edges and soft tannic structure were quite charming. The woodiness was merely hinted at, and its liveliness was in the leathery red berries that burst onto the palate with every beautiful sip. The attractiveness of this product was also in its terroir-driven character. My conclusion: the food was cold, and salad limp, and my partner and I were very happy.

As a side note to non-wine-related goodness, Alba is also known for a very famous chocolate product. You guessed it! Ferrero!


Find a BC Liquor Store that carries this Dolcetto d’Alba near you:

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