Enoteca: the great Italy wine tradition

It is quite normal for Italians to take a long lunch break to enjoy a nice lunch of pasta followed by a meat main, usually accompanied by local wine.

Now, if it’s so common for Italians to have a glass or two of wine a day each – and that’s just at lunchtime! –  you may think you’ve uncovered the secrets behind Italy’s budgetary woes.

But really, Italians are much smarter than that…even after all the wine.

Most families, particularly if living in towns or cities in Italy, will follow the great Italian tradition of buying their wine from a little wine store known as an ‘Enoteca’.

Here, wine is stored in large barrels. You take in your empty wine bottle (or for around 50c you can buy a new one). You chose your wine of choice from the list, which is usually written up on a chalkboard along with their by-the-litre price. The owner then fills up your bottle with your Italian wine of choice.

The bottle is corked with an old-fashioned lever corker and then a hand-written label is then tied onto the bottle, usually with a piece of string.

Prices range from around 2 to 4 euro per bottle of wine.

As to the quality of the Italian wine, it is actually quite decent.


Taste wine in Tuscany on our small group wine tour.

Drink wine in Florence on our charming Original Evening Walk tour.

Enjoy a traditional Tuscan lunch and wine tasting at a winery on a full-day Best of Tuscany tour.

Artviva Walking Tours in Florence, RomeVeniceCinque Terre, Umbria, Naples, Pompeii and more.

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