I had heard a number of good things about Roscioli both from the web and a Roman friend, but when my wife told me she had booked us a spot at their English language wine tasting I was a bit skeptical. Sounded like a good way to bilk tourists into buying wine, and I am accustomed to "swirl and spit" style wine tastings which I am not a fan of. This was neither. We showed up at Roscioli's main space on via dei Giubbonari (right off Campo de Fiori) and told them we were there for the wine tasting. We waited just about a minute and in came Sandro who escorted us around the corner to another space that basically looked like a small warehouse with two large wooden tables in the middle and settings for four people. Sandro explained that there were initially ten booked for that evening but six had canceled, and as time wore on it became clear that the other party of two were going to be no shows as well. I pity them because what followed was 2 hours of eating, drinking and learning with a man who clearly has a vast knowledge of and passion for wine and food, yet who is unafraid and perfectly happy to come down to the level of someone as amateurish as I am. Wines from across Italy were featured, each paired with cheeses and meats that are meant to enhance the flavor of the wine, or in some cases to be enhanced by the wine. Highlights include the spice-laden Schiopettino wine, which was new to me, and culatello pork that was simply amazing and the affable Sandro himself, who could very easily have canceled the tasting having been stood up by no less than 8 people, but gave us a wonderful evening instead. Your night is capped off with a Roman pasta dish (alla gricia in our case) brought over from the main restaurant. In the end we did buy wine (which is very reasonably priced) but not because we felt pressured to, because we wanted to after learning about them and enjoying them so much. This is a must-do in Rome if you have any interest in food and wine.
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