Italy is synonymous with food and wine, so it follows that its capital, Rome, should reflect this. As any visitor to Rome will report, the streets of the city are lined with trattorias, speciality food shops, bars, gelaterias and cafés.
As you stroll the streets, taking in the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, you never need worry about finding a great place to eat and drink wine in Rome. Trattorias, bars and wine bars abound, serving local specialities, such as artichokes, spaghetti alla carbonara and saltimbocca alla Romana, along with carafes of local wine.
Rome is also a good place to sample wines from elsewhere in Italy, as most restaurants will also serve wine by the bottle from other well-known Italian wine regions, such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily or Veneto. Increasing numbers of enoteche, or wine bars, are now appearing on the streets of Rome; wine by the glass is a good choice here to sample various wines from the local Lazio regions, such as from the Rome wine region of Castelli Romani or maybe from Frascati. You could try some wine in Rome from further afield in Lazio, such as crisp white from Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone or from Orvieto, just across the border into
Umbria. If you’d like to sample some red Lazio wine, try the Cesanese di Affile, an almost forgotten red variety in the sea of Lazio white wine.
If you’d prefer to venture out of the capital and visit the vineyards for yourself, there are several wine regions within striking distance of Rome
Much of the wine produced in the region does not make it out of the country, except perhaps for Frascati and Est! Est!! Est!!!, so touring the vineyards close to Rome, such as the Castelli Romani, is a good way to sample some of the white wines made principally from Malvasia and Trebbiano or more esoteric varieties like Cesanese.
Heading east from Rome, you can travel to neighbouring Abruzzo to sample the region’s principal varieties: full-bodied, fruity red Montepulciano and crisp white Trebbiano. The two varieties are grown across the region and can be found under Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC.
To the north-east, you’ll find one Rome wine region that still flies somewhat under the radar, Umbria. Known as the ‘Green Heart of Italy’, Umbria is generally overshadowed by its more famous neighbour to the west, Tuscany, but has plenty to offer any wine lover. Umbria is home to Orvieto, a crisp white whose main components are Trebbiano Toscano and Grechetto. You should not miss the fabulous cathedral in Orvieto if you stop here. Umbria’s other famous wine is the big red Montefalco Sagrantino, one of Italy’s most tannic grapes.
Naples and Campania lie to the south, with three DOCGs located within reach of each other. Fiano di Avellino DOCG, produced from perhaps the most interesting white grape in the region; its flavour is often reminiscent of herbs and pine nuts. Greco di Tufo DOCG, named for the village of Tufo near Avellino, a white wine with bright acidity, clean refreshing flavour and a minerally finish. Taurasi DOCG, produced from Aglianico is known as the Barolo of the south due to its high acidity and tannins. You could also sample the white Falanghina variety, produced mostly along the coast, so perfect for sipping in Sorrento, along the Amalfi coast or on one of the islands.
Whether you stay in Rome or venture out into some of the surrounding regions to explore, you’re sure to take plenty of good wine from Rome home.
At Wine Paths, our team of local experts can help you to seek out the best wine in Rome and in the regions around it.
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