Italian grocery stores have a decent selection of wines. But to dive into the real world of vino, get yourself to the famous enotecas—a mix between wine stores and bars where Italian and international wines are the protagonists.
It’s not just about wine here. At an enoteca, you’ll be able to sit down, enjoy a glass with cured meat-and-cheese boards, talk to the sommeliers and even sign up for a tasting or wine course. From budget-friendly bottles to more exclusive varieties for more experienced wine connoisseurs, this guide to buying wine in Rome will show you where to go.
Things to Know Before Buying Wine in Rome
When it comes to Italian wines, the regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo might be the first that come to mind. But don’t count out Rome’s home province of Lazio, either. While not historically known for its wines, Lazio has started making a name for itself in the Italian wine world in recent decades.
Know your acronyms
Be aware of the seemingly innocuous acronyms that appear on your bottle. The cream of the crop is generally considered to be the DOCG (Denominazione di Origina Controllata e Garantita), but don’t judge a wine by its label. There are some excellent varieties that fall into the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and IGT (Indicazione di Geografica Tipica) categories as well.
READ MORE: How to Navigate a Wine List in Italy
The Best Wine Stores in Rome
1. Enoteca Costantini
A Roman wine institution, this enoteca sitting on Piazza Cavour in the chic Prati neighborhood is the place to go to pick up a special bottle of wine. As soon as you step into Enoteca Costantini, you’ll be completely immersed in the world of vino.
The top floor is dominated by liquor bottles, while the ground level boasts a wine cellar that houses 4,000 different wine labels from across the world. Not sure what to get? Ask the sommelier to help you choose from the vast variety of Italian wines, liquors and gastronomic delights. And if you’re up for dabbling a bit in the world of wine yourself, this is the place to go for a great sommelier course.
2. Enoteca Trimani
Everyone in Rome has heard of Trimani, the legendary wine store that dates back to 1821. Their first shop was located in the Centro Storico until they moved to their current location in 1876, close to Termini Station.
With thousands upon thousands of wine bottles populating the never-ending shelves, it’s a good idea to ask for help in your search for the perfect one. Thanks to their strong connections to wine producers all over the country, Trimani is home to one of the best and most varied selections in Rome. And if you feel like a more hands-on approach towards wine, they even host regular wine tastings with famous Italian sommeliers and winemakers!
3. Enoteca Lucantoni
If you happen to be on the hunt for amazing wines in Roma Nord, look no further.
Step inside and be amazed by the more than 3,000 different wine bottles, ranging from reds and whites to rosés and dessert wines. If you feel like sitting down and enjoying an aperitivo, they even have a “social table” and a small outdoor patio where you can enjoy your preferred bottle of wine accompanied by taralli, prosciutto and cheese. And if you want to step it up a notch, sign up for their sommelier course!
4. Barbieri 23
A stone’s throw away from Largo Argentina, this wine bar and laboratory is the go-to place for a top-quality wine and food tasting experience.
Captained by the famed Chef Giorgio Baldari, the whole concept of Barbieri 23 is centered around the quality of the products. They seek out the best Italian products from small, agricultural producers—including a not-so-vast but spectacular selection of wines and liquors.
Order a bottle of Franciacorta paired with a selection of national cheeses for aperitivo, and before heading out, purchase a few bottles of wine to remind you of this unique experience.
Everyone has heard about Oscar Farinetti’s multi-level gastronomic center. And if you’re in Rome searching for amazing bottles of wine, Eataly needs to be on your radar.
Located in the Ostiense neighbourhood, Eataly is truly a wine lover’s paradise. Head to the second floor into the enoteca, and you’ll find more than 25,000 bottles available. Represented here are 21 wineries from the Lazio region with more than 130 wine labels and 1,000 different bottles. And that’s not to mention the vast selection of organic wines as well!
Feel like learning a bit more about the wonderful world of wine? They also host regular wine tastings with professional sommeliers!
6. Roscioli Rimessa
The Roscioli name is famous all over Rome for offering excellent products, gastronomic delights and wines. A couple of years ago, they opened their newest gastronomic space: Roscioli Rimessa, a place completely dedicated to wine.
Stop by for aperitivo, or step things up a notch and book their wine tasting dinner. One of their professional sommeliers (occasionally including owner Alessandro Pepe himself), will take you on a wine tasting journey around Italy, teaching you how to navigate a wine list as you taste different regional wines accompanied by local specialties.
After your wine tasting dinner, ask your sommelier for some expert help in purchasing some of the most amazing Italian bottles of wine ever to walk the planet, or join their Wine Club!
7. Enoteca Il Goccetto
Immersed in the Centro Storico just footsteps from Piazza Navona, behold one of the wine bar institutions of the Eternal City.
Il Goccetto is a small enoteca boasting wood paneling and shelves upon shelves of Italian and French bottles of wine. But don’t just stop here to purchase a special bottle of wine—you absolutely can’t leave without sitting down for the famous aperitivo! Grab a seat at one of the tables and order from a selection of 800 different wine labels, which you can enjoy with a fabulous selection of Italian cured meats and cheeses.
Ready to get a crash course in Italian wine? That’s just what’s in store on our Trastevere by Night: Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Experience. You’ll snack and sip your way across several emblematic bars and restaurants in Rome’s most famous neighborhood—including one of our favorite enotecas—and learn how to enjoy great vino like a local.
An Italian globetrotter with a gigantic crush on Rome, Federica has been travelling the world since birth and has lived in NYC, Tehran, Rome, Houston, Istanbul, London and Budapest. She loves sharing her passion for Italy’s food and culture, and has a personal travel blog about how to live la Dolce Vita around the world.