Posted by: tomciocco | February 11, 2012


The beautiful town of Dolceacqua  in Liguria sits just a stone’s throw from the French border, and the blue Mediterranean is  just a second, slightly longer toss from the center of town. This truly magical place is nestled culturally between the greater Genoese lands, the former Duchy of Savoy, and Provence, and its traditional cuisine reflects this geographical and cultural position. The food from this region would get a nomination to be named Italy’s best by many an intenditore and buongustaio, this one included… 

When it comes to Ligurian wine, the mind immediately conjures salty, fragrant whites that are the perfect companions to the region’s superb seafood repertoire. Rossese di Dolceacqua, as the name of the vine might imply, is decidedly red. That said, this is a grape that does not produce deep, inky dark wines, but rather medium to medium-light colored reds that nonetheless are very well structured and have a notable alcoholic heft. It’s a wine that typically smells both earthy and ethereal, and is THE choice for nearly every Ligurian preparation of rabbit, of which there are many…

Being that rabbit has become expensive (?!?!), and is now just treat here at Casa Ciocco, tonight’s main course was the next best thing – chicken – grilled spiedini (skewers) of breast long-marinated in blood orange juice, olive oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, celery tops, etc. with grilled polenta. The first course was a simple plate of penne with a three mushroom, thyme, parsley, wine and garlic sauce, with just a spoon or two of parmigiano reggiano mixed in…









Danila Pisano Rossese di Dolceacqua 2009

Slightly cloudy, transparent blackish ruby color. Evolving nose of strawberry, sweet spices, roasted chestnut, raw ground beef, and plum leather. The initial mouthfeel is soft, velvety, and medium-full, with an emerging wiry, slightly peppery tannic backbone, and a juicy acidity that springs slightly briny flavors of cherry, pomegranate, rose water, cream soda, and cranberry sauce. Clean and very dry bitter almond finish. 


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