The tastings table is gorgeous custom made affair that is 5.4m (17.7ft) long.

Tonight I witnessed the most exciting thing ever to happen in English language wine education in Rome: the inauguration of the brand new Vino Roma tasting space on Via in Selci in Monti. The place is stunning. Not that the original tasting space in Prati wasn’t great. But this is something else. Hande Leimer and her husband Theo, the founders of Vino Roma, have transformed a former run-down computer school into a sleek and modern space, which will host wine tastings conducted by the company’s three sommeliers—in addition to Hande you will find Irene and Maurizio, both skilled and passionate wine educators.


Vino Roma’s three sommeliers: Irene, Maurizio, and Hande.

In the interest of full disclosure I will say that Hande is a close friend. But I am not at all biased. She is, objectively, a talented wine educator with a staggering breadth of knowledge. And I’m not the only one who is completely awed by her and her company’s services. Vino Roma’s classes are routinely listed among the top things to do in all of Rome (often above visiting the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel) on TripAdvisor. The new space, I am certain, will enable her and her colleagues to educate even more people about the exceptional wines of Italy.


Probably the best thing ever, “Turkish smaltz”.

Tonight at the soft opening we tasted around 8 wines from Italy and Austria, which were paired with salami and cheese from Lazio. There was also homemade caponata, which surpassed even that of nearby Al Vino Al Vino (sorry Giacomo!), chicken liver pate, and a Turkified schmaltz (rendered sheep tail fat with caramelized onions and apples). Regular public tastings will begin in a week or so. To book a tasting or an event, visit Hande and her colleagues on their website.