A really *nice* Dolcetto
Admittedly, I don't drink enough Italian wines. I understand why I prefer other whites of the world (the Italian offerings just don't have enough "oomph" for me in the way of aromatics or flavors), but so many of the reds are phenomenal. And many of them have the crispness that make them pair so well with foods (including the ubiquitous tomato, so prevalent in Italian cuisine).
So, to remedy this, I took a trip to my local Total Wine store the other evening, and stocked up on a bunch of wines that I don't normally drink--including some Italian reds. (If there is a better way to use some of my tax refund, I can't think of it...)
Last evening, we were very surprised at how much we enjoyed a bottle of S Orsola Dolcetto d'Alba 2005. The wine was, in a word, nice (and I do mean that in a good way.) It had some cherry and plum flavors, but it wasn't over the top fruity, and it had little to no tannin. It paired very easily with the cheesy chicken chowder we had for dinner (which was made with cheddar cheese and included some jarred salsa), and the wine's bit of acidity (again, nice, and not over the top), cut the richness of the cheese.
Dolcetto d'Alba is made in Italy's Piedmont region with the grape of the same name. It can be compared to a Beaujolais, and slight chilling won't mask the flavors. Thus, it's is a great choice for the warmer months.
This bottle is a terric house red, and it's only $8.99. I'll be going back for several more bottles, I'm sure.