Saturday, December 18, 2010

Massolino Dolcetto d'Alba 2008

It's been quite a while since I've had a Dolcetto. Probably at least a year, as crazy as that sounds. This was $20 at Whole Foods--fucking expensive. That's one thing that drives me nuts about Whole Foods' wine selection. I would argue that I've never been able to secure a good deal there (I would argue Bristol Farms is worse in this regard). This is mainly a function of their mark-up, which is excessive. I can regale you with tales of bottles that you can get elsewhere for 20 or 30% less, but really, what's the point. Of course, if you want to buy 12 bottles, they'll give you 20% off, or discount the price to what they should be charging anyways. But I don't think that they have a selection of wines there that merits 12 bottles to purchase at once--so it's a catch 22. Where Whole Foods shines is if you need to get something good on the fly and the extra $5 or so (in this case, at least), is worth it instead of having to drop in somewhere else. I was bummed out that they didn't have a single Barbera from Italy (but they had a Dolcetto? That's like having chocolate ice cream and not having vanilla...). The only Barbera was from Stoplman Vineyards. I wasn't going to grab that. They also only had one Beaujolais. One. WTF. It is clear that the Whole Foods wine-purchasing crowd would prefer to drink the same dreck that most consumers drink...albeit at more expensive prices and from better producers. But--they did have this, and I have heard good things about Massolino, so I figured what the hell.

Sarah and I drank this with clams in red sauce (at our hearts, we are Guido's I guess, wishing that we were born in Brooklyn or Little Italy in the 40's or 50's), which happened to be delicious. It's delicious, with lots of chocolate covered cherries, plums, violets, and hints of earth. Smooth, suave, and well balanced. Definitely Dolcetto from a talented maker that has tamed the rusticity of Dolcetto. It's almost like a grown-up version of Dolcetto. If this were $15 somewhere locally I would go grab a couple more bottles. It's really superb and well done. A

It was our annual Christmas celebration before she gets on the plane to go home before Christmas. This year, she got her present early--we got engaged. (And she got one enormous ring from me...let's just say that it would easily keep me in good bottles of wine for a couple of years, maybe more.) She gave me some cool stuff, but the two things I'm most excited about are the Scuola di Pizza at Mozza!!! and the children's books This is Rome and This is Paris (written in 1959 by Miroslav Sasek, they are really cool). Why Paris? We decided that we're going to go to Paris and Switzerland March 8th-25th...our tickets were super cheap too. A little over 600$ each--less than it cost to go to Rome. I'm really excited--I haven't been to Paris since 2000, and I've never been to Switzerland. Sarah hasn't been to Paris since she was 5--Madeleine's age. If anyone has suggestions of where to eat, especially in Switzerland, let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

10 comments:

jason said...

Congrats on the engagement! As for Switzerland where abouts are you going? I can likely drum up some recommendations as my wife's family is from there...

Jeff said...

Hey--thanks that would be awesome.

We're going to go all around. We're flying out of Zurich, so we're going to spend a couple of days there, but we're also going to go to Berne, Lausanne, maybe Luzern, and maybe Geneva depending on what we decide to do. We're staying for a week in Paris, but we haven't nailed down Switzerland completely. We might swing through Alsace, but we also might get to Switzerland after going through Marseilles.

Joshiemac said...

Congrats on the engagement.

I went to Zurich a year or so ago on business. Stayed at this place here: http://www.hotel-helvetia.ch/en/home

Cool off-beat vibe, nice bar, good food. Great outside patio/bar area if the weather is decent. Can't really remember if it was expensive or not as I was on an expense account and wasn't paying attention. It being Zurich I'm sure it wasn't cheap.

It's worth looking into. I really enjoyed the place as it had much more character than the average stylish but soulless boutique hotel.

Jeff said...

Hey cool thanks for the recommendation. Looks like a cool place.

I've heard that Switzerland is crazy expensive, especially since the Franc is now worth more than the dollar (and the dollar has depreciated around 30% relative to the Franc since 2008). Oh well, what are you going to do, right?

You're lucky (I think?) that you get to go to Zurich on business. That's a guaranteed boondoggle to a certain extent...right? I can only wish that my work would send me somewhere that interesting.

Joshiemac said...

Yeah, as business trip boondoggles go, that was a good one. Usually, I'm happy if I can make it to New York or some other city with good wine & food options but Switzerland was kicking it up a notch.

Really enjoyed Zurich as a city to visit for a few days-not sure I'd want to spend much more time than that.

Jeff said...

Yeah, gee how'd you get so lucky to get sent to Zurich?

I've heard that Zurich is only good for a couple of days since it's so small. I don't think we will spend more than a couple of days there. I've heard the same thing about Berne. Our goal with Switzerland is to get to see some of the small towns...it's too bad that we don't want to lug a ton of crap to Switzerland--otherwise I'd rent some ski's and go skiing.

Joshiemac said...

I work in advertising and one of my clients has a home office in Switzerland. So we got to go out there to discuss a few projects. Nice fringe benefit of the account.

Jeff said...

That must be an important account if they're going to send you all the way from Northern California to Zurich!

Joshiemac said...

By the way, I stopped by Paul Marcus Wines today in Rockridge to get a few bottles to round out my lineup for trip to Tahoe this week. Very impressed with the selection, all kinds of random regional Italian & French wines that are hard to find. Helpful & friendly staff as well. Nice little place--don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that it's only a 10 min drive from my house with no traffic.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Jeff said...

Awesome. Glad that you like Paul Marcus. When I lived in Oakland, I went there all of the time precisely for those reasons. I would still be going there...the only problem is it's a good six hours away. Oliveto is really good too (although I bet you knew that), and I like the butcher also.