Pros and cons of living in Rome?
Con: Post Office.
But wine alone can only take you so far, which is why wine pairings are so important. Honestly, though, I don’t know the first thing about pairing wine with food. I know what wine I like, I know what food I like, but I don’t know how to combine those two loves.
So when City Wonder Tours invited me to try a wine and food tasting hosted by Roscioli’s sommelier, Alessandro, I didn’t think twice.
Wine and cheese are a familiar pair, but when you’re talking burrata and mozzarella with semi-dried tomatoes? A whole new level.
Aged tuna? A revelation. PLUS caponata? Oh man. I am so particular about caponata, but this, with the fish, worked so well with the Nobile di Montepulciano Pietra Rossa (Cantucci, 2009). I am also completely sold on visiting the Cantucci winery some day. But when you are planning on Rome instead of Tuscany, a tasting like this feels like the perfect solution.
We started with white, but moved on to reds quickly. Alessandro was flexible and intuitive, having an open dialogue about wine and happy to adjust based on feedback.
With such a small group (never more than 18, but we lucked out with a friendly group of 5), it was a comfortable space to taste and to have a conversation about likes and dislikes. Alessandro was great about explaining the origins of every wine we tried and every bite we took.
This is what I love about Italian wine and food: the history behind it.
My favorite wine was the 2012 Silene from Damiano Ciolli, paired with pesto (always a favorite). BUT my favorite food was a surprise: the capocollo di maiale nero dei Monti Nebrodi. This is coming from the former (15 long years) vegetarian.
I don’t really care about prosciutto. Blasphemy, I know. It’s a texture thing for me… and I like the flavor but can’t get behind the mouthfeel.
However, capocollo di maiale nero? Yes, please. More, please. Unfortunately, Terra Madre seems to be sold out. A tear. Luckily, living in Rome, I can head back to the Food and Wine tour for another fix.
6 wines, paired with 6 distinct bites, from all over Italy? In the end, it was a delicious afternoon right in the center of Rome.
I attended the tasting with a friend thanks to an invitation from City Wonder Tours, but all opinions are my own. For more information, or to book a tasty, boozy afternoon for yourself, go here.