Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Nov 3, 2007 06:00 AM

so three classics students walk into a wine bar...(rome)

Unfortunately I'm going to have to ask you to help out with the punch line. A couple of friends and I would like to try out this whole "wine bar" business given that it's something we have absolutely no chance of doing stateside, at least not for a while. None of us are what you'd call drinkers, so we're hoping to learn and savor a bit too. Any recommendations for fun places- NOT fancy/swish/pickup line central- in Rome? We're just hoping to find somewhere to relax, ditch the latin books and maybe grab some fun food as well. Grazie!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would have thought you could do this in any bar in Italy. Just chose one you like the look of.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coombe

      well, yeah, we could in fact get drunk anywhere we'd like. On the other hand, there are quite a few places that specialize in wine by the glass/antipasto specialties, and they seem to range from posh to tourist magnet. We'd just like some pointers as to where might be fun in particular (only six weeks left until heading back the world of lame beer and a drinking age.) Unless I have this all wrong and "winebar" means something else in Italian- I mean, for example, I've heard about Trimani's amazing selection, although it's a little too far to do just because. A little bit of education would be nice to get along with the glass- what kind of grapes are we tasting, figuring out personal preferences, etc. Or at least a decent selection and a well-written menu.

    2. Hi-
      I can't recommend any of these personally, but I've been putting together a list of restaurants, wine bars, gelateria, etc. for an upcoming trip.
      For wine bars I've got:
      Cavour 313
      Cul du Sac
      L'Antica Enoteca
      Enotecca Buccone

      You can see where they are and the details on my Google Map:

      Let me know if you go or have been to any of them. I'd love to hear back!

      2 Replies
      1. re: wired2theworld

        I can recommend both Cul de Sac and Cavour 313 for light lunches/dinners and wines. The first ia pretty narrow inside but has outdoor tables if you can grab one. The second is larger inside, better for chilling out.

        1. re: jbw

          Finally, after a string of dispiriting delays (field trips, alcohol-forbidding medicine, etc.) we finally made it out and ended up at Cul de Sac, mainly because it offered us starving vegetarian types something other than hunks of cheese. Presumably if you're in the know about wine, the massive tome they put on the table is really exciting; even for us, it was fairly daunting but well worth a read, given the notes about wines and blends listed for every region, bianco e rosso. Would have asked the waiter for suggestions, except that it was a madhouse. We ended up with a bottle of a Campanian red- Per 'e Palummo, I think, from Ischia, although that was sort of because it sounded interesting rather than any advance planning. Thankfully it was light (only 11.5%) and went rather well with not only the unbelievably gorgeous evening (outside! in November!) but also the food. Highly recommend the red lentil soup, especially if the sun starts slacking off again, and the mixed salad was light and fresh. The "chickpea pastry parcel" was sort of an odd, wannabe hummus mixture, soaked in olive oil- maybe we just missed where it was going, but probably, sticking to Italian-inspired dishes is best. Another friend pulled together a lovely cheese and salami platter from the rather extensive menu. All of this plus + lovely people watching + insanely good pane basket = definitely fun.
          It's literally in tourist central, and I should think especially good in the off hours, when you can really just enjoy the cosy and skip the twenty minute wait. Definitely recommend if you'd rather graze- they do lovely pate platters and the list of formaggio/sausage things is intense- and focus on the wine, rather than a traditional coursed meal.

          (We did move on to Alberto Pica for dessert, and, oh, my. Riso alla cannella? Basically an epiphany- the best of rice pudding and gelato, in one delightful cup.)

          Grazie for all the tips, I'm pulling for Trimani as our next victim....

      2. I was a classics major in Rome myself once (before there were wine bars) and (a) commend your enterprise and (b) am guessing you're based on the Gianicolo. You should get on a 75 bus and ride it to the end and go to Trimani. In Trastevere, piazza Trilussa, there's one calle La Mescita (pron MESH, and without getting into the history of the word, it means wine pouring, i.e. service by the glass), open only in the evening. There is one called Angolo Divino ( near Campo de' Fiori. Never been to either. I do go to Casa Bleve (not cheap, but worth it for the experience) and the cozier Vecchia Bottega (formerly Bleve) in the Ghetto. Both have yummy foods at lunch and in the evening and very knowledgeable personnel. There are lots around town. Don't worry (too much) about tourist traps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mbfant

          I just got back from two+ weeks in Rome. We had an apartment near the Campo and just about every night we were there we stopped in at L'Angolo Divino for a glass before going off to dinner. (Twice in fact we did not have to go far as we had dinner at the wine bar.) Massimo is the propritor and he is an absolute wealth of knowledge about all things wine and cheese, Italian of course. He would enthusiastically help with your wine education. In addition to probably a couple of thousand bottles in the wine bar, he has eight whites and eight reds by the glass, ranging from I think 3E to 9E. Three of the whites and three of the reds are half-price between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday only. In addition, he offers a cheese plate and a plate of salumi -- all D.O.P. in both cases -- for 10E each. Most of the nights we let him select a bottle for (the four of) us, and it was usually in the 15 to 18E range. One we especially liked and would never have known about on our own was an organic ("biologico") red blend from Lazio; without out my trip notes I think the name was Trufliccio. All in all it is a most convivial place to just sit and relax.

        2. There is a great wine bar almost directly across the street from Da Baffetto off of piazza Navona, via del governo vecchio, 7x? Truly lovely

          1. trimani is never too far from anywhere in rome. pretty much ground zero, transportation wise. give it a shot.