ENZO BOGLIETTI DOLCETTO D'ALBA, 2007

In the world of popular Italian wine, Piedmont is rarely considered the star, in fact, it's rarely considered. Wines from the region of Tuscany are the media darlings, though it is just one of many glorious wine regions in the country, including my favorite, Piedmont.
If Tuscan wines are Rock n' Roll, then Piedmontese wines are Jazz; not everyone can appreciate them, they take a certain sophistication of taste, a desire to drink something different and unique. You almost have to drink between the lines, taste what you're not tasting.

Enzo Boglietti is a wine maker who has always managed to bridge the gap between Piedmontese wines and the popular wine palate. I had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago at VinItaly, the infamous wine expo in Verona. There, in a tent the size of a football field filled with wine makers, his different approach was blatantly apparent. Having never seen a photo of him I was able to pick him out of the crowded corner where he sat. Every winemaker was old, many were bearded and all were dressed in the somber clothing of the Italian artisan. Enzo wore designer jeans and a tight rocker t-shirt. He was clean shaven, and his short hair slicked back. But, perhaps most notably, he was young. We talked through an interpreter about his wines and he was gracious and informative. I don't remember much of our conversation as I had been drinking since 8 am, but I do remember looking up at him, standing above me with one of his biker-booted feet up on a chair, and thinking that he was a rockstar, THE rockstar of Piedmont.

Boglietti makes wine that anyone can enjoy. They are complex and fascinating but approachable and consistently tasty. His wines are to the Piedmont what these George Benson songs are to jazz: anyone can appreciate them.

This 2007 Dolcetto d'Alba is about as perfect an example of Dolcetto you can find. The name of the grape Dolcetto means "little sweet one," and tends to make lighter wines with sweet red fruit. Enzo's version begins with just that, ripe red berry fruit with a hint of exotic cooking spices. The palate continues on with gobs of juicy fruit and a bit of white pepper. This wine has a nice zing of acidity which gives it a long finish and makes it a great food wine that can pair with anything Italian and tomato saucy, but also chicken and pork dishes. A truly great, versatile wine for around $20.