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Italian wines

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
13 posts
188 reviews
Italian wines

When I go to Rome next month, I'd like to sample a variety of Italian wines. I like wine and have some, but not a lot of familiarity with Italian wines. I was thinking a wine bar might be the best bet, since you can order by the glass. Since I don't have an unlimited budget, is the house wine usually a good choice in trattorias? I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to go about trying different wines, and where to start!

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Verona, Italy
Level Contributor
3,530 posts
1 review
11. Re: Italian wines

As said before, wine in our house seldom lasts from one meal to the next lol

Level Contributor
1,518 posts
4 reviews
12. Re: Italian wines

I really liked il Goccetto very much too...a lovely neighborhood place. A few more you may want to check out:

- Trimani Wine Bar (it's around the corner from their amazing wineshop)...great selection of wines (you can try 'flights' too) and the food is very good: Via Cernaia at Via Goito


another I enjoyed was

- Enoteca Buccone,Via Ripetta 19-20, enotecabuccone.com/Sito_Buccone_eng/homeeng.…

Sliema, Malta
Level Contributor
1 post
120 reviews
13. Re: Italian wines

Suggested Wines to try:


Brunello di Montalcino

Nobile di Montepulciano

Chianti Classico

Great Location to try and visit:

Antica Enoteca, Via Della Croce

Andover, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 posts
59 reviews
14. Re: Italian wines

One of my favorites, difficult to find, is Grignolino, a delicious light red. Try local stores.

Level Contributor
1 post
25 reviews
15. Re: Italian wines

We went to Italy last August/September. LOVED the house wine MUCH better than the more expensive "bottled" wines. We are "not" wine "literate" by any stretch, but my husband and much preferred the House vs our friend, who kept ordering the dryer fancier bottled wines. They offer many little "shops" where you can buy cheese and a few different bottle of wine and take back to your hotel for later. We pretty much ordered a pizza and split it along with an appetizer. It was plenty. Go off the main areas to get a better feel for the area and do NOT stay far away from the main center of Rome. We did and it costs a fortune in taxi fares and/or a private driver. Take REALLY comfortable shoes! Lot of walking and uneven streets/sidewalks. HOpe you enjoy it as much as we did. WE did NOT do a "tour" of the Sisten, but did pay for one of the Coliseum (glad we did and didn't). We could take out time in the Sisten by not being in a "tour". Didn't do a "tour" for other museums either, as we prefer to take out time to look & observe. Sorry I didn't get to go to the "outlets" for Gucci, etc, but maybe next time!

If you have time, be sure to take the EuroStar Train to Florence and stop off at Pisa...We did and then went on to Venice for a day and a day at the beach, just to see it and put our feet in the Mediterranean (no smell to this ocean!). Enjoy your time; be sure to wear sleeves on your tops/shirts and pants that cover your knees. The Churches are VERY strict about dress codes. Only one required head cover.

Level Contributor
2,636 posts
32 reviews
16. Re: Italian wines

Don't forget a Prosecco.

Nice, France
Level Contributor
6 posts
29 reviews
17. Re: Italian wines

There's no need to be snobbish here. Do Italians drink nothing but the three Bs (Brunello, Barbaresco and Barolo)? Of course not. The average Italian drinks house wine most of the time. Sure, have a special bottle from time to time and take a couple home with you (but be warned there's some very unimpressive but expensive versions of all three Bs around especially Barolo). In the same way that the most enjoyable places to eat in Rome are not the fancy ones but rather the neighbourhood trattorie, so Italian wine should be seen as an affordable everyday pleasure.

Go to the Enoteca Corsi (on Via da Gesu off Piazza da Gesu near Largo Argentina) and you can buy some very good wines from their wine shop, meanwhile in the room next door (which is just about the best place to lunch in Rome) everyone (nearly all Romans) is drinking house wine with their food. The more Italian (and less touristy) a place is the better the chances of getting decent honest house wine. Ask for 'uno mezzo' (half litre) 'di rosso/bianco'.

What I'd recommend, is that if you do go to a wine bar/enoteca and can order by the glass then you should try out some of the less well known grapes (why go to to Italy and drink Chardonnay or Cab Sav?) such as Negroamaro, Aglianico (especially from Vulture), Fiano, Vermentino, Grillo and Falanghina. Also try wines from regions outside Tuscany or Piedmont. Robust reds from the South, Morellino di Scansano rather than Chianti and, especially, the white wines of Liguria such as those from Cinqueterre.

The Rough Guide to Rome has a very good list of wine bars.

Nice, France
Level Contributor
6 posts
29 reviews
18. Re: Italian wines

And one thing more in Rome: you might like the 'Citta del Gusto', which is like places such as Vinopolis in London, a complex of cafes, food/wine shops, a cookery school and exhibitions. It's part of the Gambero Rosso organisation (which publishes a popular restaurant guide).

It's got a big wine bar/shop ('Il Teatro del Vino') on the fourth floor with a very extensive range of wines by the glass, it's open from 9 Monday to Friday and from 19.30 on Saturdays. E chiuso la domenica. It's down near the Porta Portese (south of Trastevere on the west bank of the Tiber). Unfortunately the website for it is in Italian only (the English pages are a wine guide) but if you can cope with that go to: www.gamberorosso.it/article… It's currently closed for holidays but reopens on 24th August.

If your hotel has a Gambero Rosso guide then it's worth checking that for wine bars in Rome (or you can nip into a Feltrinelli and consult it there).

Nice, France
Level Contributor
6 posts
29 reviews
19. Re: Italian wines

Just to stray off the topic of wine onto more general Roman things. While I couldn't agree more about needing comfortable shoes (preferably blessed by St Hubbins - the patron saint of quality footwear) as it will still be hot and you'll do lots of walking. The Roman public transport system is, however, quite good and not that difficult to understand, the buses, trams and metro will get you nearly everywhere you want to go. If you get a Roma Pass for free (the first two) or discount entrance to museums etc (this is a good idea) it comes with a 3 day transport pass (see: http://www.romapass.it/p.aspx?l=en&tid=2) and a map of the centre with bus routes etc marked. You can also get a bus map from ATAC offices (ATAC are the Rome city transport organisation). You can buy Roma Pass at many museums and also at the PIT offices (Tourist Information Offices) which are listed on the Roma Pass site (under 'Buy'). It's also a good idea to get a proper map of the city, there's a very useful Italian one that's in book form (like the London 'A-Z') which you'll find at most Feltrinelli shops.

There's also a three day ATAC pass (the 'biglietto touristico') which you can get at many but not all places where you get ordinary bus tickets. The place in Termini station for example or in the railway station at the airport (FCO).

While you can spend a week easily in the Centro Storico and Trastevere it's a shame not to go just a little further afield and, in any case, you'll find times when hopping on a bus or tram is ideal not least because your feet are hot and sore. You'll certainly need to take a bus to visit places like the Vatican or the Villa Borghese. There's no need to use taxis in most of Rome unless someone in your party has mobility problems. And never ever accept a 'taxi' from someone who approaches you in the street, either call on the telephone (or have someone do it for you) or wait at the proper taxi stands for the yellow cabs, the people who solicit are criminals who at the very least will grossly overcharge you.

And to return to wine: one of the best places to drink wine used to be the Vineria in Campo de' Fiori. No longer I'm sad to say. It's still worth visiting for one drink to sit and watch the crowds go by (and these days the Campo is crowded day and night) but the attitude of the management to customers is appalling now.

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
20 posts
18 reviews
20. Re: Italian wines

I'm a Brit whose been living too long in Italy (Rome and Venice to mention just some places for nearly 20 years). Unfortunately house/table wine, especially in Rome or any other major city is usually fairly poor; so is the bottled stuff most of the time, but they just like to charge 3/4 times as much for a label. Most good house wines can be found outside in the countryside (food is usually better and great value for money). Red is very good north of Rome but have to disagree on Rome being good for white wine, even the Roman's joke about the quality of the white here. Better off trying whites from Sicily, Campagna (Greco di Tufo, Falanghina) or from up north. However, there is the Enoteca Regionale Palatium in Via Frattina 94 (just a few steps from Piazza di Spagna, a lateral with Via Condotti in front of Spanish steps). Here you can find excellent wines for all palates and pockets by the glass! Shame you missed the wine show at the beginning of the Summer but you can always come back again :)

Hope you have a fine time in the eternal city.