Although Rome and the Lazio province (Where Rome is) are not the most well known for having excellent choices in wine, they do have a particular brilliance with many white wines. Their white wines are even better if you prefer sweetness to it. This means even though Rome isn’t the end all of the wine world, you can find some wonderful and exotic choices of wine in the capital that you certainly won’t find in your home country. But what are your best options while taking a Rome tour?
Possibly the most famous wine of the region for it is so inexpensive but also quite delicious. Many wine enthusiasts will likely tell you to pass up on this one because it is generally made these days with a focus on quantity rather than quality, but if you can find some of the brands and wineries that are only a single vineyard, then they focus on the quality of this straw-colored white wine. It can come across as exceedingly dry, but the sweetness in it can easily make up for it, if you don’t mind the dryness too much.
Est! Est!! Est!!!
The wine with a bizarre name; born just north of Rome. This fruity selection actually obtained its name thanks to the 1100’s interesting method of deciding how good their wine was. Everyone around that time wrote ‘Est!’ on their doors to describe whether they had tasty wines or not. One person loved the wine they had so much, they wrote Est! Est!! Est!!! on their door, and the name was used for that wine, even today. This fruity and sweet white wine is an absolute favorite and one that should definitely be tasted while in any area of Italy that happens to offer it, especially if you aren’t fond of the dryness from the Frascati. Just remember to use the exclamation points correctly!
One of the few local red wines that are worth it, though this one is not recommended for being a dessert wine. Cesanese comes with a heavy dryness and a slight pop of sweet. This one tends to be quite popular with Roman cuisine, especially sauces that use tomatoes or have a hint of spice to mix with the flavors of this one. The locals often call this one the ‘King of all Wines’ due to its compatibility with most regular Roman foods. Grown mostly in the southernmost area of the Lazio province, depending on the vineyard it came from you can get a different hint of tastes, such as tobacco or blueberry.
One of the oldest wines to circulate in the Roman area, and that is saying something. This white wine is certainly one of the better ferments, using special methods to produce the wine and give both a woody yet soft explosion of flavor. The hints in this wine aren’t quite as brilliant and varied as the Cesanese, but the Grechetto does come with some wonderful tie-ins with desserts. It is possibly one of the best dessert wines you will find because of the capability of this wine in blending with other flavors so readily.
Remember that even if you aren’t sure of what kind of wine you might be interested in, there is always the option of going on a Roman wine tour so you can just try a variety of flavors all at once, and not be heart-broken about buying whole bottles of wines you will only sip once. Either way you get to experience some of the more exotic tastes that Rome and its surrounding area have to offer!
Sarah Murphy has worked in Dublin for the last two years as a blogger, web content manager and marketing coordinator. A journalist by training and travel junkie by nature, she regularly travels to Italy for both business and to experience Rome tours thanks to tour providers like Dark Rome.