If Italy is shaped like a boot, Piedmont is near the top. A Wine Blogging Wednesday Post

A shoe-fetishizer's country if ever there was one.
Note the distinctive boot shape, and where Piedmont is.

Thanks to David McDuff as he put this together

i had this great idea for this post.

i really did.

It involved me cooking an entire meal of entirely authentic dishes from Piedmont, drinking nothing but authentic wine from Piedmont. So to this end i went out and bought the best book on Italian cuisine i could think of and got to planning. This is where everything fell apart. Looking through the book i realized that the amount of stuff i actually wanted to make was way larger than Piedmont, and somewhere in my reading my stomach overrode my brain, and instead of a thoughtfully planned Piemontese meal, i had a frankenstein from all the boot.

Not that that matters.

Not in the least bit, i still have the wine and isn’t that the point of this thing?

i actually don’t know the answer to that. i have a hard time contextualizing wine without food, or at least the thought of food. So what did i drink, and what did i eat?

2007 Pelissero Munfrina Dolcetto d’Alba

Dolcetto means “little sweet one”. Everyone that evers mentions this grape is compelled by the power of cliche to throw that one out there. Other cliches that have to be mentioned about dolcetto:

It is one of the world’s great value wines.
It is overshadowed by the regions two heavy hitters, Barolo and Barbaresco
It is both capable of wines that are light, “fun” (god, i hate describing things as fun) and rustic, and wines with more depth and power.

Now that these are out of the way let’s talk about this wine. Typically, if i were looking for a wine from France, i would go out of my way to find something less than typical, “odd” if will, given that my experience with French wines is deeper (but by no means near complete) and i can move outside of typicity easier. Not so with Italian wines, where my knowledge is limited to hit and miss tastings from all over the country, so when i search for Italian wines i tend to look for typicity first, oddball variations second.

This was no different, being a wine that was dolcetto through and through (if perhaps a little heavier than other dolcettos i’ve had in the past). i would say, not being any sort of expert, that if you were thinking of picking up a dolcetto blind, this would be a good one to get. If you like it, branch out, if not, throw a rock through my window. The nose was a mix of licorice notes and bright cherries (i know, sounds like medicine, but the flavors were bright, rather than sticky sweet). It was medium bodied, with some dehydrated cherrys and low acidity, rich at first but falling apart at the finish. This wine is the super popular kid in middle school who ended up copping a junk habit in 11th grade that you thought you saw last week at Safeway. Overall, good workaday stuff.

So…food? Or was I ducking you, hoping that a shitty ramble (“tasting notes”) will turn you off enough that you won’t feel like reading the rest?

Well pictures and words, as they say:

Hazan is a cool last name.
The book
They cook inside a hollowed out lemon! The secret to gravy is the neck
Amalfi lemon bruschetta, gravy
Squabs pan roasting, ricotta fritter batter (god damnit i SWEAR i didn’t plan anything so obnoxious as the repetion of double Ts)
fingerprints fritter is good word, please use it in your speech today
something doesn't match.
Finished products

romantic, i know.

serious blog pics:
i hope you realize how seriously i take this blog everything worked out

What to listen to: sunday night, Italian/cooking/relaxing? The Dining Rooms



Full WBW wrapup HERE, including my bloodied thumb. Apparently i won the Unofficial Photojournalism Prize. Thanks McDuff!

~ by Cory Cartwright on February 18, 2009.

6 Responses to “If Italy is shaped like a boot, Piedmont is near the top. A Wine Blogging Wednesday Post”

  1. Damn, you went all out, typical piemontese cuisine or not. Sounds like the Pelissero was not so much to your liking. Too bad. Truth be told, I’m not much of a Dolcetto guy, but the Pelissero, along with the Ana Maria Abbona Sori Dij But and a bottle of ’04 Vajra I had with McDuff, earned my respect and appreciation for the varietal.

    Nice musical pairing, by the way.

  2. Actually, Joe, I enjoyed the dolcetto for what it was (a dolcetto). i felt it wasn’t that much, but i really have never felt that about any dolcetto, but that is OK in my book, my tasting notes be damned. Em is the big fan in the house, and we drink quite a lot of it, and this was definitely on the upper end of the scale (and that scale goes pretty low).

    The Dining Rooms is one of our staple end of day picks.

  3. There’s some serious dolcetto out there, from Anna Maria Abbona to Luigi Einaudi. Anyway, an impressive meal! And I enjoyed the Dining Rooms too.

    Unfortunately I can’t make Corkscrewed like I’d hoped because I’m up in Napa for much of this week. Ah, well… hopefully there was a good crowd!

    Meanwhile, give a holler next time you’re in town — it would be nice to meet for a beverage.

    – wolfgang

  4. Bodily harm in the line of duty, no less. Way to put it all out there, Cory.

    It’s wacky that both Joe and Wolfgang mentioned Anna-Maria Abbona, as I poured her ’07 Sori dij But as the closing wine at my “Italy on a Budget” class last night. Of three bottles, one was corked and one was borderline but the other was quite delicious — and definitely structured enough to merit its placement as the final wine of the night. The’04 Vajra, by the way, was the Coste e Fossati bottling. Seriously good stuff, worthy of cellaring.

  5. My wife always says it isn’t cooking until i injure myself, either by slicing my hand open, or (more common) trying to use my hand as a hot pad. Looks like i will have to pick up a bottle of the Anna-Maria and give it a try.

  6. if you’re looking for something italian and a little quirky, run to your nearest wine store and get some gragnano RIGHT NOW. you mentioned you love lambrusco, this red sparkler is from the sorrentine peninsula made with sciascinoso, piedirosso, et al. will beat the hell out of bubbly shiraz anyday.

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