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A guide to local bottles, from Castelli Romani or other provinces in Lazio. To discover new labels for perfect pairings with Roman cuisine
Italy was defined by Sophocles in the fifth century BC as the “land beloved by God Bacchus” and although Piedmont and Tuscan wines are very popular around the world, Lazio also boasts its own reputable production. The most known are Castelli Romani wines – white, red and rosé – but there are also plenty of notable producers throughout the region. Frascati, Frosinone, Velletri, Viterbo, Rieti and Terracina are the cradles of sparkling wine. However, you don’t need to travel around to taste them; in the Capital, there are many wine bars waiting for you with tastings to discover Lazio’s wines.
One of the first wine landmarks in Rome, opened in the 90s in Piazza Cavour. A real innovation: the wine bar within the wine shop. Open all day, the counter is always busy, but the cellar remains a secret and accessible to very few lucky ones. Among more than 4,000 labels from around the world, you will find a selection of DOCG local wines like the Grechetto Latour Civitella produced by Sergio Mottura, Ferentano by Falesco, and Frascati Superiore by Fontana Candida.
The Bulzoni family has been dealing with wine for 100 years – the same labels and three generations with the same passion. Their location changed in 2017 and they have menu options that aim at the highest quality according to the Slow Food Foundation. On the lower floor, there is an amazing cellar that has been evolving since 1929. They specialise in natural wines and you can also find a small range of self-produced bottles in the small vineyard of Torri in Sabinia.
The actual wine bar was once an osteria for food and drink and before that a carriage house. It was the first venue in Rome to serve refined wine by the glass. Inside, you will literally find yourselves surrounded by bottles and there is a small wine museum hung on the walls.
Among the best producers, Falesco with the Merlot IGP Montiano and Casale del Giglio with Syrah and Petit Verdot Mater Matuta.
In a single place, there is a wine bar, a bistro and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Here, you will be able to find rare labels among copper tables and shelves. There are many Lazio wineries on display: white and rosé wines by Tenuta Tre Cancelli, the award-winning I quattro Mori by the Castel De Paolis winery, and others like Damiano Ciolli and Sant’Andrea Giuliani winery.
A small but nicely decorated place in the Prati district and perhaps the most contemporary wine bar in the city. With around 100 labels, among them are the local Omnia Romana, the famous reds of the ancient Principe Pallavicini family and Cantine Lupo, produced by the owner of Bancovino.