The Favorite Wine(s) of the Romans

by Taryn Lachter

The Romans, as we know, are the ancestors of culture.

Through the language of Latin, the architectural influence, the brilliance of engineering, and of course, the glorious art of viticulture.

The effects of the Romans are still found consistently throughout modern society.

The Romans, as we know, are the ancestors of culture. Through the language of Latin, the architectural influence, the brilliance of engineering, and of course, the glorious art of viticulture, the effects of the Romans are still found consistently throughout modern society.

In ancient Roman culture, wine was a “democratic” drink, and was offered to all people of society, even those that were considered peasants. Many of the modern winemaking techniques actually stem from the original viticulture, especially in terms of distribution and production as they had to ensure a steady supply to soldiers and colonists in further parts of the empire.

So what were the favorite wines of this epic, trendsetting cultural society?

Cesanese del Piglio is an intense wine that can still be found near Italy but is quite rare. It’s extremely bold and fairly bitter, with the taste of earthy greens, animal meat, and dark fruits. There are really only about 1,500 acres of Cesanese vineyards left in Europe and they’re around Lazio, Italy. Lazio is the home of many of the remainders of Roman wines as that is the closest geographical area to what used to be the Roman Empire.

Frascati is a blend of Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca di Candia, both white grapes that are dry but very fruity. As one might expect from an Italian white, this blend has flavors of peach, lemons, and herbal notes. Then there’s Grechetto, a white wine with a mineral edge, like a bolder Pinot Grigio. It’s fairly high in acid but is full-bodied and slightly fruity.

The thing about these Roman wines from Lazio is that they’re really hard to find in single-varietal form if you’re outside of the region itself. You know what that means, right? Fly yourself to Lazio and take a tour on your own!

There are two wineries that maintain the fertile soils that are perfect for growing the ancient grapes of Rome: Falesco and Casale del Giglio. Both have restored their lands and been producing gorgeous, Roman-esque wines that are fit for an empire.  



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