Buying wine can be as confusing as selecting an Italian wine to pair with your meal. You can purchase your vino at an enoteca or wine shop, a wine bar but also at a restaurant…where to start?
Enoteche, which translates as ‘wine libraries’, are shops that are often also wine bars. Wine is available by the glass and by the bottle. Enotecas originally sold local bulk wines or vini sfusi. The concept of the enoteca has increased in popularity in Italy. It is typically a place to have an aperitivo or pre-dinner glass of wine with snacks, where you can then choose a great bottle to bring home for supper. Enotecas often offer wine tastings and regional food delicacies and the atmosphere can be similar to a French bistro.
Here are a few of our go to places to buy and enjoy great wine:
Enoteca Bulzoni – Located in northern Rome – in the Parioli neighborhood – Bulzoni offers an impressive range of Italian natural wines. Stop in for a glass and a charcuterie plate, or grab a bottle to take away. Alessandro and Riccardo are happy to help you choose a wine to fit your taste.
Enoteca Costantini – The Costantini cellar has an extensive inventory of Italian wine with more than 4,000 labels. Conveniently located near Castel Sant’Angelo in Prati, Costantini is a wonderful place to enjoy a glass with appetizers after a day of sightseeing or to spend hours browsing the well-stocked shelves. The staff will recommend wine that matches individual tastes and budget.
Enoteca Il Goccetto – Tucked away on a quiet picturesque street near the busy center, Il Goccetto’s wine list by the glass and half-glass changes monthly. Pull up a stool at the bar for a glass with a plate of salami, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in this jovial and warm historic enoteca or buy a bottle to go (or better yet, do both).
Enoteca Trucchi– Owner Stefania Trucchi offers a small selection of wines chosen with care. Both natural and conventional wines are available. Stefania is delighted to help clients with their wine selection. She also offers occasional wine tastings and dinners.
La Barrique – Located in the hip Monti neighborhood this comfortable, cozy Italian bistrot/enoteca has an outstanding choice of natural wines. Enjoy a glass with lunch or dinner or buy a bottle to go. They serve appetizers as well as pasta dishes and entrees. (NO WEBSITE)
Les Vignerons – Pure paradise for natural wine lovers, this off-the-beaten-track wine shop is well worth the trip. Shelves are well-stocked with Italian, French and other European wines. The friendly and generous owners Antonio Marino and Marisa Gabbianelli share their seemingly infinite knowledge and make suitable suggestions for each client. Keep an eye out for wine tastings on their Facebook page.
Gina Tringali – food lover, certified sommelier, coffee connoisseur, and passionate home cook – is a successful freelance food and travel writer and blogger based between Rome and Southern Italy. She is committed to discovering and sharing with fellow food enthusiasts Italy’s best culinary and wine experiences.