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Wine Tours and Tastings at Local Vineyards and the Best Enotecas Around Rome



If you can't make it out to Tuscany, don't fret. There are plenty of places where you can taste good wine in Rome. From going on a wine tour to attending a wine tasting at an enoteca or gourmet food shop in Rome; there are plenty of options for those who want to stay in or near the city.

In Italian, a wine tasting is called a degustazione. Degustazioni or wine tastings are typically held in enotecas, which are specialty wine shops. Usually the wine you're tasting is accompanies by a light snack or spuntino which can be anything from olives, crostini or even formaggi (cheese). Some of the enotecas not only serve and sell wine by the bottle or glass but they also have a full-fledged restaurant as well. A popular enoteca in the Prati area that often features wine tastings is Enoteca Costantini. Here you can drink, eat and even inquire about tours at their nearby local vineyard in the Castelli Romani. Another place where you can go is Eataly. A newcomer on the scene in Rome, this mega gourmet food shop in Ostiense features all sorts of tastings from mozzarella and other cheeses to beer and wine. 

Perhaps, you might decide you want to latch on to a tour company that leads you out to the local vineyards in the Castelli Romani or takes you on a wine walk to some of the best enoteche in Rome to teach you what to look for in a glass of wine. Context Travel is a leader in sustainable travel tours in various topics including food and wine. Check out 10Best's list for more recommendations.


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Not exactly a 'wine tour' but the founder of Eating Italy Food Tours, Kenny Dunn does touch a little bit about wine during his 3-hour food tour. What's nice about this tour is that Kenny take you away from your comfort zone, out of the center of Rome and invites you to this typical working-class neighborhood called Testaccio. Here, tourists get the chance to go on a tour and learn about the history of the open air-market in Testaccio, taste food from the famous gourmet specialty food shop Volpetti, and sample other dishes and desserts from various pizza shops, restaurants and gelaterie.

Local Expert tip: Kenny likes to keep his tour groups small (8-10 people). Therefore, it's wise to book before your trip to Rome.

Read more about Eating Italy Food Tours →


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Ostiense
Eataly


Get ready because Eataly has touched down in Rome. The giant gourmet food chain opened up its romana location in the former air terminal at Ostiense station right along side with Italy's newest and fastest (and private) railway Italo. The new Italian culinary complex is the biggest store to date. It covers over 17,000 meters of space and is spread out over 4 floors. At the food market, one can shop from over 14,000 different 'Made in Italy' products to choose from. Eataly also features more than 23 restaurants and snack bars. There are also tasting stands where one can sample some of the finest Roman and Italian delicacies while crossing off all of your items on your shopping list. Eataly also organizes degustazioni (wine tastings) of wines from various regions from Lazio, Sicily and Calabria to Tuscany and Trentino. At Eataly, one can embark on a cooking class by getting their hands dirty in the cucina and learn from some of the Italia's finest top chefs.

Local Expert tip: Service can sometimes be iffy here especially in the restaurant sections of the food complex. Make sure to ask all of your questions and get information on where to go first from the information booth located on the ground floor. Otherwise, you may run into some not so pleasant servers and cashiers who don't always enjoy answering questions. Sadly.

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Enoteca Costantini
Photo courtesy of Biggunben


Whether you're looking for that unique bottle of wine to bring back home or a nice quiet place to sit and indulge in glass of Brunello, Enoteca Costantini is your place. Located in the prominent Piazza Cavour, Costantini was born in 1972. It was one the first enoteca to open in up in Rome. Today, the shop features more than 800 labels of wines and over a thousand different types of spirits. BUS:492, 30, 49.

Local Expert tip: The enoteca also organizes wine tastings, courses and tours at the family's owned vineyard in the Castelli Romani. Make sure to inquire about all of them.

Read more about Enoteca Costantini →


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Citt? del Gusto is a culinary institution specializing in what else? Food. Well, they also specialize in wine as well. The gastronomical complex is spread out over six stories which includes a wine car, a caf? and restaurant, a book shop, an exhibition and conference hall where special events are organized. They also hold cooking classes for both amateurs and those seeking to be a professional chef. Citt? del Gusto also features monthly wine-tasting events showcasing wines from Sicily and Sardegna to Tuscany and the Veneto regions. METRO: Marconi

Local Expert tip: Every year, Citt? del Gusto sponsors the Roma Wine Festival, a two day event featuring workshops, presentations and tastings hosted by some of the leading experts, wine enthusiasts and sommeliers.

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Context Travel is an American tour comany operating in cities all over Italy and Europe. What makes their 'tours' so special is that they're not actually tours but rather small walking seminars. Rather than using tour guides, Context uses professors, docents and experts in the field to lead the walks. Their walks are catered to the 'intellectually curious' or people who are interested in taking a class while on vacation rather than just following a typical tour guide with an umbrella. Context firmly believes in sustainable travel. Therefore, their walking seminars never exceed more than 8 people per group. Their seminars cover everything from Ancient and Religious Rome, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Architecture, Food seminars and even wine tastings. Context has a specialized wine walk lead in Rome by a professional sommelier. During the course, the sommelier takes the group to two typical enoteche where he/she teaches you about the history of wine making, seasonal wines and how to pair your wine with certain foods.

Local Expert tip: Context Travel also leads walking seminars in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and also in Beijing.

Read more about Context Travel Tours Rome →


Katie Parla Tours


Katie Parla is a food and travel writer based in Rome who does small, private specialized tours on food, wine, art and archeaology. Around Italy, she is considered to be a food guru and has a pretty extensive blog to show for it www.parlafood.com. Per request, she can take you on tours teaching you about traditional Roman Cuisine, Rome's Open Air Markets, Craft Beer, and Local Regional Wines. Her specialty wine tour takes a look at the bureacracy behind the wine industry in Italy, history of wine making and also teaches you how to pair your wine with the appropriate foods. Katie has written for various travel publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Insight Guides, TimeOut, Fodors and the New York Times. She is also a trainer sommelier.

Local Expert tip: Katie has a smart phone dining app out now called 'Rome for Foodies.'

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Dark Rome is one of the top tour groups in Rome specializing in everything from historical and religious sights to culinary tours and wine tastings in the local vineyards. Dark Rome does an exceptional wine tour near Rome in the local nearby vineyards of Frascati. The tour is roughly 3.5 hours long where travelers get to visit one of the oldest vineyards belonging to the Pallavincini estate in the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) region. On the tour, visitors will get to visit over 200 acres of the estate's vines, learn about the process of making wine and sample three different types of red and white wines explained by a professionally-trained sommelier.

Local Expert tip: Frascati is only about a 30-40 minute drive from Rome, which makes taking a tour of the vineyards much easier than making a day trip from Rome to Montalcino in Tuscany.

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Walks of Italy Tours


Walks of Italy is an American company that specializes in small English-language led tours of major historical sights in Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Milan, Umbria, Pompei and the Amalfi coast. They feature tours on the Vatican Museums and the Roman Forum to the leaning tower of Pisa and the Uffizi museum in Florence. They also organize culinary tours and cooking classes. If you wish to visit the vineyards of Tuscany, they arrange for a full day on a private farmhouse. The tour includes a full home cooked meal, wine tastings and lessons on truffles and how to make cheese.

Local Expert tip: Walks of Italy Tours have been featured in Rick Steves' guidebooks, USA Today and the company even earned some exporsure in Showtime's docu-film, The Borgias.

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When in Rome Tours takes wine enthusiasts on a tour of three different towns in the Castelli Romani. The tour takes you to three family-run vineyards in Tenimento di Casamara, Velletri e Montecompatri. The tour starts off in a family run vineyard and wine cellar that dates back to the 1700s. Visitors will get to taste various different white and red wines from the Frascati region including Frascati Doc. Tourists will also get the chance to sample extra-virgin olive oil and visit the historical city center of Frascati.

Local Expert tip: Frascati is a great option for touring the vineyards as it's only 30 minutes from Rome.

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Meet Nicole Arriaga

A 1999 trip to the Bel Paese and a kiss from an Italian boy made Nicole fall in love with Rome. Not being able to stop thinking about cappuccinos and her Italian amore, Nicole Arriaga packed...  More About Nicole

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