Most years, my annual trip to the Italian wine trade fairs begins in Venice. But this time around, I started out in Rome because I’ll helping a friend with a video project tomorrow in Tuscany.
It was also an excuse for a much overdue realtime meeting with Hande Leimer, aka Vino Roma, and her lovely husband Theo, a wine nerd in his own right. Hande is a Rome-based wine educator and super cool lady with whom I’ve enjoyed a virtual friendship for a number of vintages now.
As it turned out, friend and Italian wine writer extraordinaire Monica Larner was in town (ever the jet-setter, she was between trips to Bolgheri and France) and so she joined us last night at the Gatta Mangiona — the “glutton cat” — Hande’s choice for our get together.
Posting in a hurry (as always from the road) but I just had to share the joy inspired by the entirely groovy wine list at this excellent Roman trattoria/pizzeria, where they serve a Neapolitan pie.
The gently macerated Casale Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (above) was lip-smacking delicious (who imports this in the U.S.?)
Some might say that fried artichokes aren’t ideal when tasting wine. To them I say, when in Rome… you find artichokes everywhere. These were so tender.
Classic Roman supplì and calzoncelli.
What a thrill for me to get to taste the 2007 Ribolla Gialla by Terpin, one of the Friulian radicals! (I don’t believe that it’s available in the U.S.) It was tannic and very closed but by the end of the bottle its gorgeous fruit had begun to emerge.
This place is a dream for people who dig this kind of thing (like me).
The pizza is Neapolitan in style. I had to do the Romana (my go-to because I’m a lover of salt-cured anchovies). I loved how they did raw pelati combined with seasoned passato. I could eat (and drink) here every night.
The “fat cat” also wins the award for cutest menu design.
Hande had reserved for us at 8:30. By 9:30 it was packed (and I believe reservations are required). I highly recommend this place. I loved it.
I’ll post more on our Roman adventure when time permits.
In the meantime, thanks again Hande, Theo, and Monica for making the first night of my trip so memorable! A truly unforgettable evening…
Stay tuned… posting from Siena today…