The 5th Edition of the Vini Naturali wine fair, organized by the restless wine woman Tiziana Gallo, the biggest wine fair in Rome completely dedicated to natural winemakers and their wines, is around the corner. The fair is not the only one in Italy, and it seems like a new enoteca dedicated to these wines is opening every week. Like them or not, I would say these wines are here to stay. The name? Not so sure on that one - There is still no legal description anywhere and in the meantime I prefer calling them “minimal invervention” wines.
If you are in Rome on February 9th & 10th and are interested in wine, you should really go to this event and see for yourself what you think of these wines. If language barriers, timidity or lack of basis knowledge (in wine and/or natural wine) is hindering you, join our annotated tour on the 10th.
In any case, here is a list of recommended reading:
What is Natural Wine? by Isabelle Legeron M, one of the biggest supporters of the style
An Agnostic’s View of Natural Wines by Tim Atkin MW
Wines Worth a Taste but not the Vitriol by Eric Asimov on NYT’s The Pour
Crackdown on Natural Wine by Rebecca Gibb on Wine Searcher is based on a true incident that happened here in Rome past summer and demonstrates the legal vacuum
The Natural Wine Debate Gets Ugly by Jeremy Parzen on HP, my friend Jeremy does an excellent job of putting both sides of the story together
And here are the best places in Rome where you can buy and/or drink some examples of natural wines if you are missing the Vini Naturali:
Enoteca Bulzoni the first in Rome dedicated to natural wines. Don’t let the posh and out-of-the-way Parioli district deter you and enjoy an aperitivo here.
Les Vignerons support small businesses - Antonio has some of the best natural wines at good prices. It is just a tram or bus ride away from Termini central station.
La Barrique has great food to go with all your orange wines.
Update: Here is the only map of Rome you will ever need - where to buy and drink natural wines, put together by Katie Parla.