The Best Restaurant Wine Lists in Rome

For a European capital with nearly three millennia of wine production and consumption under its belt, Rome’s wine service can be shockingly amateurish, and restaurant wine lists are often populated with bottles from large industrial producers. Fortunately, a handful of restaurants don’t treat their wine lists as an afterthought, but a means to showcase the unique character of Italy’s native grapes. –Katie Parla 

  • 1

    Roscioli

    Salumeria Roscioli (aka Vineria Roscioli, but usually just abbreviated, Roscioli) was opened by a historic Roman baking family in 2004. Back then, Roscioli was an anomaly that customers struggled to define: Was it a deli? A wine bar? A restaurant? Such a poly-functional space was rather new to Rome. The wine list, too, was perplexing in its international scope, covering everything from Burgundy to rare Italian spirits. Today, however, the list is nothing confusing about the list, which—aside from the cured meats, cheese and carbonara—has become Roscioli's main draw.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • good wine
    • lots of rum
    • lots of whiskey
    • day drinking
    • bar food
    • full menu
    • charcuterie
  • 2

    La Pergola

    Rome’s only three-starred Michelin restaurant is like no other place in town. The formal, French-style service and gilded dining rooms perched on Montemario, in the opulent Roma Cavalieri Hotel, draw the city’s wealthiest visitors. If you’re after comfort and tradition, La Pergola isn't for you; but if wine is a priority, you might want to make an exception for access to its list of 60,000 bottles and 3,500 labels, including vintages stretching back to the 1880s.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • vintage wine
    • lots of whiskey
    • full menu
    • outdoor / patio
  • 3

    Cesare al Casaletto

    After a career in fine dining, sommelier Leonardo Vignoli—who splits his time between the floor and the kitchen—opened this neo-trattoria in Rome’s Gianicolense district. The menu offers all the Roman classics—carbonara, braised oxtail—with occasional creative-yet-grounded twists, like deep fried gnocchi in cacio e pepe sauce. Vignoli’s wine list is full of the wines he loves to drink: whites from Loire, Jura, Sicily, Abruzzo, Friuli and more than a few orange wines from Northern Italy.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • natural wine
    • low wine markups
    • full menu
    • cheap date
    • outdoor / patio
  • 4

    Pizzeria Emma

    The newest addition to the formidable Roscioli brand comes in the form of this collaboration with brother-sister duo Francesco and Ilaria Roscino. The Roscioli-Roscino team serve thin crust, Roman-style pizzas, as well as cured meats and cheeses, pasta dishes and fried starters. The dough, developed by fourth-generation baker Pierluigi Roscioli, is topped with quality ingredients, then wood fired into a crispy disk. Emma is one of just a handful of pizzerias in town to have a curated wine list chosen to accompany the menu, hence an abundance of sparkling wines adapted to pairing with pizza.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • champagne
    • craft beer
    • full menu
    • outdoor / patio
  • 5

    Trattoria Epiro

    Though the name “trattoria” implies a simple, traditional menu, Trattoria Epiro serves contemporary twists on Roman and south-central Italian recipes. Though there is plenty of good will towards the hard-working kitchen, the food isn't particularly impressive. The wine list, on the other hand, is the real draw, attracting the city’s top sommeliers and natural wine aficionados. Luckily, you can just stop by for a glass or a bottle without having a full meal.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • natural wine
    • low wine markups
    • full menu
    • day drinking
    • outdoor / patio
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