Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wine Wednesdays - Roman Passeggiata With Wine!

Our first night in Rome we scheduled a walking tour with Antiqua Tours.  We met our tour guide Ettore near the Pantheon and he proceeded to take us on a 4 hour stroll through the streets of Rome.  It was the perfect way to get our bearings and get a taste of the history around us, with much-needed pauses for wine tasting in between!  Now I'll have to admit, the jet lag started to kick in and I probably didn't retain as much of the history as I should have, but the wine sure was good!  If you're visiting Rome I would highly recommend Antiqua Tours, they have several different tour options to suit any interest!


We started at the Pantheon then made our way through the Jewish Ghetto - where we stumbled upon the most quaint piazza in all of Rome - so quiet you would never believe you were just a few steps away from the crowds.  



We quickly came to find that so much beauty is hidden behind the doors in Rome - we were lucky to get a peak into this courtyard!


Our first stop was at a local enotecca and cheese shop in the Ghetto - Beppe.  The owner, Beppe Giovale makes his cheese in Piedmont.  Paired with a wonderful selection of wines, we had a beautiful tasting of some of their specialties.  I wish I could remember the names of all of cheeses, but I ate them too fast to remember.  What I did learn on this trip is that I'm starting to like the stronger cheeses (who would have thought considering I didn't eat cheese or anything that had touched cheese until I lived in Florence 7 years ago; Parmesan is a slippery slope)!






Such perfect portions of each individual cheese makes it easy to sample several!
We finished our cheese tasting and made our way through Campo Di Fiori and back to the Piazza Navona area where we stopped at Enoteca Il Piccolo for our second tasting.  



Our wonderful tour guide, Ettore - full of art, history, and best of all wine and cheese knowledge!
The walking, the history, the interesting facts were all wonderful, but perhaps the best knowledge imparted to us from Ettore was what wine to drink!  I admit I'm not as familiar with Italian wines, especially of the white variety, but he hit the nail on the head when he recommended Frascati.  Named after the town it hails from, aprox. 25km from Rome in the Lazio region, it was one of the preferred wines of ancient Rome!  Typically made from a blend of Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes.  While many may dismiss Frascati as a typical "jug" wine, we learned that from the right producer, it is a very reasonably priced wine to be enjoyed with the best of Roman cuisine!

One such producer is Casale Marchese.  We enjoyed their 2013 Frascati Superior multiple times throughout our trip.  It was the perfect accompaniment to our aperitivo of prosciutto and cheese, enjoyed on our apartment balcony!  The wine is bright and fruit forward with complementing acidity, but yet balanced with a soft, creamy mouthfeel and lingering finish.  At 10 euros per bottle it was a great bargain!

Is there anything better?!?!
My happy place!

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