You don’t simply visit Verona…
…Especially during Vinitaly, without stopping at least once at Antica Bottega Vini. It has for many years (albeit with different ownership recently) serviced locals and foreigners alike with a grand degustation of some of the finest wines known to man.
From sparkling, red, white, even orange – It’s simply an institution renowned throughout the world. We went there and ordered at least 2 bottles every night (pre and post dinner) and ate here for our final evening.
It’s a multi faceted venue. In the entrance you have various antipasti that can be consumed al banco with your choice of tipple – of which there are thousands to choose from. During Vinitaly, they pull out all the stops and we indulged in favourites such as Tignanello 2008 (€10 a glass) to Gaja Barbaresco 2008 (€35 a glass) which are outrageously priced in the interests of responsible consumption of alcohol. In our final evening here, M insisted on a 3 bottle degustation.
We each chose one wine. M chose a 2003 Quintarelli Amarone Classico, I chose a 2006 Cappellano Pie Franco Barolo, and A chose the 1997 Gorelli Brunello. Each well and above over delivering – even if Amarone is not a style I would personally choose irrespective of price. They were all truely astonishing.
Service is something Bottega Vini truely excel at. When (Or, more importantly, if) you manage to get a table (People were still pouring in the door at 1:30am when we left) the staff really look after you, particularly if choosing special bottles. Old wines are served in a straw basket, and the sommelier gets his head around the wine (and takes his one glass commission) before serving to you.
The leg of lamb was brilliant. Slow cooked, succulent and tender. The meat fell off the bone and nearly melted on the plate. You are unlikely to find a better compliment with Nebbiolo on their menu in my opinion.
So come for the wine, witness the frenzy, and stay for the culture. Whilst the food does delight, it’s not the real reason you’re here, and while you can find better fare elsewhere in the old town, you’re not going to drink better anywhere else on the planet.
Antica Bottega Vini
Via Scudo di Francia 3, Verona, Italia