Grape of the Week: Dolcetto
By: Jeff S Cameron
Posted: Feb. 04, 2013

Dolcetto is first mentioned in 1593 in an ordinance from Dogliani, Piedmont forbidding harvest before St. Matthew’s Day, September 21st. This may have been one of the first attempts to manage an early to market grape and its impact on more expensive varietals.  Dolcetto is an early ripening grape, up to four weeks earlier than other reds, which allows it to grow well in the cooler regions of Piedmont in north-western Italy. Low acidity, high tannins and very color rich skins have often aimed winemakers towards shorter fermentation and maceration times, which also give the grape an advantage in reaching the market more quickly.

This is a classic Italian bean-and-sausage dish that is excellent fresh or made a few days ahead of time. Serve it with crusty bread, salad and an Italian wine and you'll surely be blissfully singing like Pavarotti by the end of dinner.