If you are a frequent visitor to this blog or even know M. and me in person, you probably know we love to drink a good glass of wine once in a while. That is why we also see every trip as an opportunity to widen our wine-tasting horizons and try some local wines.
Since Italy is among the top class wine producers of the world we thought there would be many opportunities for some serious wine tasting when in Rome. In spite of Rome being the capital of the country, it is definitely not its wine capital.
As we learned during our visit, there are a few wine producers based in the nearby hills and the whole Lazio region is home to roughly 30 DOC titles. Three of them really stand out: Castelli Romani, Frascati and Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone. Local wine producers are mostly famous for their dry whites.
Our idea was to join a guided wine tasting where we could bump our amateur wine knowledge up a notch, learn a thing or two about local wines and taste some great wine samples in the process. I expected to find many companies and wine bars offering such tastings but to my amazement I could only find a small variation of suitable offers.
One of them is Vino Roma with a wine studio located just minutes from the Colosseum on Via In Selci 84/G.
We booked their My Italians wine tasting and were not disappointed. It was not so much locally oriented as we would have liked but since this particular tasting is advertised as "an overview of Italian wines", it was pretty much expected.
The tasting was led by a sommelier speaking perfect English (he is actually an American living in Rome) and he took that night's group of 6 wine enthusiasts on a great wine trip around Italy. Everybody else but M. and me were Americans. After speaking with some of them about European wine prices across the Atlantic our guess was that visitors from the US might be quite frequent at such events.
In the tasting we got to sample a variety of six wines from various Italian wine regions. This is our wine list of the evening:
- Zamo Bianco 2011, produced by Le Vigne di Zamo in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Venezia Giulia IGT). Grape varieties: Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Sauvignon Blanc.
- Trebbiano Spoletino 2011, produced by Antonelli in the region of Umbria (Umbria Bianco IGT). Grape variety: Trebbiano Spoletino.
- Greco di Tufo 2010, produced by Dell'Angelo in the region of Campania (Greco di Tufo DOP - DOCG). Grape variety: Greco.
- Vigna del Forno 2010, produced by Cascina Gilli in the region of Piemonte (Freisa d'Astri DOC). Grape variety: Freisa.
- Malandrino 2010, produced by Cataldi Madonna in the region of Abruzzo (Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC). Grape variety: Montepulciano.
- Caselle Riserva 2006, produced by D'Angelo in the region of Basilicata (Aglianico del Vulture DOC). Grape variety: Aglianico.
Although this wine tasting was not cheap by our standards, we still thought it was very good value. Wines were not all that special but we liked most of them (Greco di Tufo and Caselle Riserva were our favourites).
We felt the real value was in the knowledge passed to us - there were moments when it felt like an excellent wine tasting school. In my opinion the event was just that - an enjoyable wine school evening. Among other things we have also learned how to guess the age of wine and the amount of alcohol in it by just looking at the glass. The sommelier in charge of the tasting was really knowledgeable and could basically answer all of our questions.
The atmosphere was really relaxed and I think it is fair to say everyone was really happy in the end. We definitely enjoyed the two and a half hour event. If you are curious about a particular wine from the above selection, you are welcome to leave a question in the comments section below the post.
Since we liked this wine tasting so much, we decided to also try a little different approach and taste some local wine directly at the source. That is why we also visited one of the famous local producers at the very place, where the (wine) magic happens - their wine cellars in the hills just outside Rome.
You can read more about our visit to the Frascati region in one of our next posts.