There’s nothing like a hot beverage to warm up on a crisp winter day. In my current hometown, Munich, they do an excellent job at serving piping hot glühwein, mostly at the city’s many Christmas markets. When I wrapped my fingers around a giant mug last weekend, freezing, I reminisced about my time in Rome. There, too, I was freezing more often than you’d think. It does get quite chilly. And, like many Romans, I was living in a poorly insulated apartment with a tiny heater. What did I drink to stay warm, there? Simple, I went out and drank wine. Lots of it.
Before you might get the wrong ideas about me, let me explain why wine was my warm-up drink of choice. In Italy, coffee isn’t going to do the trick, since a one-minute espresso doesn’t really offer you enough liquid nor time indoors to relieve your numbed fingers and toes. Same goes for cappuccino, since this beverage is often served lukewarm. And you know that when you decide to have your drink seated, you are charged different prices than when consumed at the counter, al banco? Often times, quite stark price differences, if you ask me.
How about tea, then? Well, the average Italian drinks tea, and chamomile at that, only when feeling under the weather. The tea selection is therefore not great at most cafés, although I have a feeling this is changing slowly. Hot chocolate? Italy is as far as I know the only country where hot chocolate is more like dessert, so thick and creamy you will have drank and eaten for the rest of the day.
So, wine it was. When I was wandering the streets of Rome, a favorite wine bar was never too far away, offering reasonably priced wines by the glass. I surely miss those quick pit stops!
Here’s a few ones for you to try out on your next visit to Rome:
Al vino al vino
A popular hangout in the heart of Monti, with an interesting selection of wines by the glass daily. Order the caponata while you’re there, it’ll remind you of warm summer days. Opens at 18:00. Address: Via dei Serpenti 19.
Lots of wines by the glass here (around 60 on average) in this small wine bar in the centro storico. Open from 11:30 until 14:30 and from 18:30 until 24:00, closed Sunday and Monday morning. Address: Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14.
At a stone’s throw from the Colosseum you’ll find this charming wine bar. Not only the wines, cheeses and salumi are heart-warming, so are the live music performances. Open from 12:00-15:00 & 18:00-1:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. Address: Via Celimontana 21.
If you are you interested in attending wine tastings and participate in other vino-related activities in Rome, do check out our Rome wine tasting experiences!
Irene de Vette is a writer, cook, and sommelier. She lived in Italy for a number of years to study the diversity of Italian wines and ingredients and now she pays her second home town Rome a visit whenever she can. Irene recently published a book on the wines from her native soil, the Netherlands, and blogs on her website www.irenedevette.nl