The best of the eternal City’s classic dishes are deceptively simple: they are made with only a handful of ingredients. However, all of them are pristine. It is much like any other regional Italian food: streamlined. When I first moved back to New York from Rome my first Italian editor told me that if a dish has more than four or five ingredients, it is not really Italian. Those are words to live by.
Thankfully Rome is a pretty international city when it comes to wine. Most other Italian regions focus on their own bounty, which makes the options more limited. Lazio, the region where Rome is located, is also not well known for major wines above and beyond some of the simple whites from the Castelli Romani, often favored by the Pope.
So many Roman dishes are focused on the savory, and elemental, intersection of Pecorino, Parmigiano and choice pig fat: think guanciale—pig’s cheek—or pancetta. So, the umami flavors are right and center with the savory cheese and the right dose of pork fat.
Another two major dishes in the Roman vernacular are angello scottaditto—roasted lamb chops—and oxtail stew. Both are divine and need bigger pairings. So here I would step it up to potentially a SuperTuscan like Oreno from Tentuta Sette Ponti, or even a Douro Valley red such as Quinta do Crasto or Niepoort’s affordable Twisted label. The Portuguese known their way around a suckling pig, among other meats, so these corpulent reds are up to the task.
Our wine tour packages also include a delicious dinner in the vine, and small group tours so you can enjoy your privacy. What makes the tour more memorable is the added advantage of the scenic views that Solvang offers.