The Rimessa Roscioli Wine Tasting
Some 10 years ago, a little speak-easy style 'Rimessa' (mistranslated often by Google as 'boatshed', meaning more garage or warehouse in proper Italian) was born from a simple concept - to create a unique wine bar where friends and others could gather and laugh, and share food, wine and stories together, as if they were in the comfort of being nestled around their own dining table.
And from this day forward, marked early by the visit of the famous and deeply missed Anthony Bourdain, the top quality gastronomy and wine selections of Rimessa Roscioli have attracted and made lasting impressions on everyday wine lovers who only know wine as red or white, to collectors, connoisseurs, and renowned food and wine critics. Just one quick look at the TripAdvisor reviews, and you'll understand how this place has made for the most memorable night of travelers from all around the world. It certainly did for me.
August 28th, 2015 - 'Your tasting has been booked - we'll look forward to seeing you soon.'
Little did I know how that email would change my entire life path.
When I walked into Rimessa Roscioli, it was like getting respectfully smothered with a big Italian hug - hugged by the floor-to-ceiling wine stacked walls, the introductions of guests from around the world who became like friends as the social lubricant started to loosen us all up, hugged by the smiles and passion of the sommelier and service person who welcomed me, my olfactory senses dancing from the savory smells of prosciutto, guanciale, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pesto and aromas of all we were about to sip, savor and experience.
Immediately I understood - this is not your typical wine tasting. Laughter, interaction and storytelling made this anything but a boring lecture. And the hierarchy of guests describing wine was leveled when a 7-year-old perfectly described the smells of her parent's wine more creatively than a master sommelier. Here, you learn that YOU are the expert of your palate, and that numbers, scores and prices are irrelevant when it comes how you may enjoy a wine.
The focus is on pairing to enjoy the wines the way Italians do - as a singular experience - not as two. Your taste buds will embark on a trip throughout Italy, from Etna to Barolo, tasting buffalo mozzarella and burrata made fresh that morning, to spicy N'duja, prosciutto from San Daniele or Monti Nebrodi, and traditional local plates of pasta like Cacio e Pepe and Amatriciana, finishing with a homemade tiramisu which is as perfectly light, whipped and lifting as the name describes - tiramisu translates to 'lift me up'. Every wine, a symphony - every food, a poetry.
And for the few who wish to continue this cultural journey, the night will ensue long after it finishes, with sharing stories of memorable bottles drank, places traveled to, recent books read, to current political events around the world. I stumbled out around 2 in the morning, drunk of laughter, memories, and awe of how much more than an alcoholic fruit juice that wine could be.
I say 'our' guests now, as this place has become me, or I have become it. The Rimessa showed me that La Dolce Vita is built from passion, culture, richness, and authenticity and caused me to take a detour from the monotonous Santa Barbara life and be put outside my comfort zone. And now, for 3 years I've been one of the hosts here who can say I have truly found my dream job at the finest wine bar in Rome. I'm beyond grateful to travel all throughout Italy for our Wine Club, collecting winemaker's stories - learning their history, heritage and philosophy - which I'll pass along to you, bringing you right to the land that birthed the wine you'll be sipping. I'll even share secret spots and recommend local restaurants and wineries in the cities you're visiting.
To me, you could even say this is one of the top wine bars in the world just by looking at the 15 pages of historical tastings that only a handful or two of wine bars in the world could even offer to guests (and not at the exorbitant costs that you might see in New York City) - verticals of Krug Clos du Mesnil, Bordeaux and Burgundy focused tastings of 10-14 vintage labels, to remakes of Bottle Shock and the Barolo Boys 20 years later, and Taste the Legends offered nightly with selections of some of these wines. But no matter what your experience level is, you are welcome as if you were a guest in my home and I hope you will be moved by one of our many experiences offered here.
If you have been moved by this place in the way I have, I'd love to hear about your experience in our comments. Or just come visit us to experience it for yourself... Ciao!