During my recent trip to Verona, Italy, I set out to find the best place to grab a glass of local wine. The region is well-known for making Valpolicella, Amarone, Bardolino, Prosecco, Soave, and Pinot Grigio wines; and every April it hosts the largest wine event on earth: VinItaly. This event brings hundreds of thousands of wine lovers together, making Verona an ideal city to taste fine Italian wine. The wine bars that operate year-round consider it their responsibility to maintain this prestige, and competition is fierce. Luckily, this never interrupts the quiet atmosphere of the outdoor patios.
Terrazza Bar al Ponte
Overlooking the Fiume Adige River, this wine bar offers good wines by the glass along with the relaxing, incessant sounds of the rushing river. Catch a sneak preview from the nearby bridge, Ponte Pietra: the bar’s patio can be clearly seen with its array of blooming flowers. Amazingly, the patio is often quiet thanks to the bar’s unpretentious entryway. Once inside, make sure to walk all the way to the back of the wine bar, where the patio and river await.
Here I tried Coffele’s 2009 Soave Classico and Tenuta Sant’Antonio’s 2009 Soave Fontana (both 3.50 euro a glass). Both of these white wines were fine, the Soave Fontana being a bit more international in character, with honeydew melon on the nose. The list of wines by the glass is smaller here than in most wine bars.
via Ponte Pietra, 26
Bottega Del Vino
Perhaps the most famous wine bar in Verona, Bottega Del Vino has class. Its waiters wear crisp uniforms and its patrons display the height of Veronese style. Upon entering, the bar, where you can stand and drink a glass of wine, is immediately to the right. It gets quite lively in the evening. Patrons can also get a table if ordering food. The list of wines by the glass featured nearly 50 different wines when I was there, and a local bianco spina, aka wine from the tap, cost a mere one euro. I tried the 2009 Soave Classico by Bertani (3.50 a glass), and it was the best white wine I tried in Verona. It was exceptionally bright and concentrated with peach aromas. It was a little creamy and toasty, but not overly so, and the finish ended dry.
Via Scudo di Francia, 3
Best Street-Side Patio
Enoteca Segreta Di Poli Luigi
Though located near the central Piazza delle Erbe, this wine bar is just off the beaten path enough to evoke the feeling of seclusion. Located in its own piazza, the outdoor patio is surrounded by green vines and is sheltered from both auto and foot traffic. This is the ideal place to slip into when you’ve had enough sight seeing and you’re tired of the touring crowds. Offering over 20 wines by the glass, I tried the 2008 Terre dei Monte (3 euro a glass), which had a nice acidity, but wasn’t anything special.
Vicolo Samaritana, 10
Osteria Le Vecete
This is probably my favorite wine bar in Verona because of the warm, inviting atmosphere produced by the rich wood décor and tall red candles at every table. It offers over thirty wines by the glass, served by friendly, knowledgeable staff. And, the prices are also a bit lower than most wine bars. A wide selection of finger foods (including bite-sized Panini) can be expertly paired with your wine. It makes me wonder why the place has been relatively quiet every time that I’ve gone. Here, I tried Pieropan’s 2009 Soave Classico (3 euro a glass). It was a very expressive wine, with aromas of caramel, peach, and a little vanilla.
Via Pellicciai, 32/a
Written by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com