Italy

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Italy

Postby Jonathan Brown » Thu May 18, 2006 11:49 am

I'm off to italy this summer (three days in rome, three in Florence and an decadent night in venice). I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any where to drink good cheap wine or buy a decent bottle of red for a good price.
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Re: Italy

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu May 18, 2006 4:34 pm

Jon
I've yet to hit any of the 3 "top" destinations in Italy (after about 8-9 holidays in different Italian destinations, this is a pretty poor show!). I recall there's a significant Enoteca (in the wine library context) in Rome, but can't remember the name (Robin will know).

In general, look for "cantina", or "enoteca" for wine shops/bars. Some good ones combine tasting and purchase. Supermarkets are "ok", but I'd always prefer buying from a specialist wine or wine&food shop.

Some wine shops and a lot of wine bars serve food. As a generalisation I've found these to be quite light, but of a very high quality. I'm always happy to eat in a wine shop/bar. For a real treat, look for cheese tasting boards or cheese menu's to accompany the wine. Don't shy away from Parmesan, as it sometimes matches very well with robust reds.

When in Tuscany, I'd recommend Vino Nobile di Montipulciano (various producers), which often offers good value.

In Venice, try a decent Amarone (made with air-dried grapes) which is typically strong fruited and texturally quite big, with a fair whack of alcohol.

In Rome, the selection is likely to be national, even international.

Hope this helps

Ian
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Re: Italy

Postby Paulo in Philly » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:39 pm

Jonathan Brown wrote:I'm off to italy this summer (three days in rome, three in Florence and an decadent night in venice). I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any where to drink good cheap wine or buy a decent bottle of red for a good price.


I just saw your posting, so sorry for getting back to you so late.

I was just in Rome in January and will be there this summer again. I'll be in Italy between July 25 and August 14th, mostly in Umbria (Spoleto) and then on the Amalfi Coast.

When you are in Rome, be sure to go to the Trastevere area. There, on the main street is the Enoteca Trastevere, via della Lungaretta, 86. You can see pictures from my trip in a photo show - Rome is at the very end:
http://photoshow.comcast.net/watch/Tu6hm5dT

In Florence there are so many enotecas to visit, however I recommend a very charming one: Cantinetta dei Verrazzano because it is so charming, right next to a delicious bakery. You can sit there and sip wine and enjoy appetizers, salamis, breads, etc. From their website:

In a region of gastronomical creations, there is a place in Florence where they can be enjoyed. At the Cantinetta dei Verrazzano one can taste the homonymous products, including specialties from the wood burning oven. With the use of the old Semellino oven, the food is high quality yet simple, celebrating Tuscan tradition. This establishment is a lovely balance of a wine bar and a gourmet café. Family owned and operated, the Cantinetta is part of Castello di Verrazzano. The cantinetta is divided into two distinct parts. As you enter you'll find the immaculate display of fresh breads, foccacce, pastries, including rustic biscotti.
Another counter is for the coffee of your choice and freshly squeezed juices, a good place to enjoy your cream filled pastry in the morning. We use the highest quality coffee which comes from famous coffee shop, Piansa. The wood burning oven stands 15 feet high, behind the selection of fresh foccacce prepared with local ingredients. Another counter is for the coffee of your choice and freshly squeezed juices, a good place to enjoy your cream filled pastry in the morning. We use the highest quality coffee which comes from famous coffee shop, Piansa. The wood burning oven stands 15 feet high, behind the selection of fresh foccacce prepared with local ingredients.

The room is decorated in walnut and marble and has plenty of place to sit.

The area on the other side is the "enoteca" a bar with offers of wines and spirits exclusively from Castello di Verrazzano.

There are just five tables, with about twenty seats where you can sit and try the specialties from the butcher's shop in Greve in Chianti. Also, you can taste the other products such as our "thousand flower honey" DOP approved extra virgin olive oil, or a few drops of twenty year old balsamic vinegar on aged pecorino cheese.

Taste the "pane di vino" bread of wine, and hear the story behind it.

Try the mentuccia with lemon zest, hot foccacce with fresh pecorino and thyme, prosciutto crudo and rughetta, or the cecina and chestnut tart. All can be paired with the help of the staff with a nice glass of wine.

Some of our favorites are Donna Clara, a blend of Traminer and Trebbiano, 1985 Chianti Classico Riserva, 1988 Vin Santo Riserva, Grappa di Vin Santo, or the 1968 Verrazzano Brandy.

Via dei Tavolini 18/20
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