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Italy is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and the largest producer of wine by volume. With over 2000 grape varieties that span the entirety of the peninsula, the country has a long and rich history of cultivating wine dating back millennia. It is a deeply entrenched part of daily life and inextricably intertwined with Italy’s culinary traditions so it’s as much a culture experience as a pleasurable pastime in the country. Wine lovers in Rome will find many great options for partaking in this most enjoyable of activities: whether you opt for a rustic enoteca, sleek wine bar-bistro or restaurant with an extensive cantina, these spots are sure to delight your inner enophile.
Al Vino Al Vino is a well-stocked enoteca located on Via dei Serpenti, right in the heart of Monti, and yet its great charm lies in the fact that it’s easy to miss. You’re always guaranteed to find a seat (an anomaly at the nearby Ai Tre Scalini) and be afforded courteous service. You can’t beat the price-quality ratio, with many bottles selling for under €20, and the menu has great small plates for the table: don’t pass up the sweet-and-sour eggplant caponata which is mouthwateringly flavorful.
This unapologetically ‘radical-chic’ wine bar is an oasis of enophiles and leftist-leaning intellectuals in the middle of all the action. Despite its proximity to touristy Campo de’ Fiori, Il Vinaietto is refreshingly untrendy and exceedingly local – always a welcome find in the historic center. With a dozen wines by the glass ranging from €4-6 or a wide selection of affordably-priced bottles for sale (uncorked for a fee), it’s a nice place to stop by for a quick drink and chat with friends. The crowd is slightly older and the bar doesn’t offer much in the way of snacks so pick up some pizza at the nearby Forno Roscioli which you can enjoy inside alongside your wine.
For quality wines and premiere food products from the Italian peninsula, head to Il Sorì in San Lorenzo, a standout locale in proximity to Rome’s largest university. It’s an intimate little spot with passionate and knowledgeable wine enthusiasts who are happy to talk you through their selection or a tasting. Il Sorì also prides itself on offering some of Italy’s finest gastronomic delights, such as prosciutto from Siena and cheeses from the Apennines, selected from local producers. With a carefully crafted and ambitious menu of entrées, you’ll want to stick around for dinner.
Il Tiaso is a picture-perfect wine bar located in the alternative Pigneto neighborhood. Effusively cozy, this ‘enolibrary’ hosts wine tastings, live music and film screenings in a jovial atmosphere that will make you feel right at home. There offer a wonderful selection of wines by the glass, along with beers and spirits, and an assortment of cheeses, meats and bruschette to accompany your drink. If you’re after a casual and heartfelt little bar, Il Tiaso is it.