Wine in the Cinque Terre

Becoming a Wino in Italy

The one and only time I’ve ever been a fan of wine was when I was in my early 20s, when it was too teenager-like to still be drinking Archers and lemonade or WKD, but wine gave you that more sophisticated grown up feeling.  But no matter how hard I tried (and I did try really hard) I never particularly enjoyed drinking wine so I very quickly reverted back to the sweet and fruity spirits and cocktails that I’ve always loved.

On the odd occasions when I do drink wine now, I end up embarrassingly tipsy after just one glass which kind of defeats the point of a grown up drink out with friends and rapidly turns into a drunken night reminiscent of my late teens.  The next morning is not kind to me either, leaving me with a horrid headache and the promise that I will never ever drink wine again.

But on our trip to Italy last week, it was pretty much impossible to avoid.  Bottles lined the walls of shops and bars, people sipped at their glasses full of wine outside street side cafes, and in every restaurant we visited the wine list was always longer than the food list.  On the very odd occasion we overheard someone explaining “no wine tonight” to a waiter, the waiter looked like he’d just been slapped around the face his expression was one of such shock!

So, to avoid being blasphemed by any Italians, and because I just can’t resist trying all the local food and drink when travelling, of course we tried out a different wine with every meal.

(Try to avoid looking at the drool-worthy food – I promise I will tell you more about this soon!)

Wine and bruschetta in Cinque Terre Italy

Tomato and mozzarella bruschetta with a chilled bottle of rose in Cinque Terre

A sweet and fruity rose would be both our pick when it comes to wine.  In fact Mr Ayla has been known to order a glass of rose when on a boys’ night out to much jeering from his beer drinking friends.

Food and wine at Coquinarius in Florence Italy

Sundried tomato and feta cheese crostini with some wine in Florence

But we were in Italy, the home of some of the world’s best red and white wines, so we tried everything we could based on the locals’ recommendations, from Chianti in Florence to sciacchetrà in Cinque Terre or any of the region’s other popular white wines.

We bought pizza and focaccia wrapped in take away paper bags, along with a chilled bottle of wine and plastic cups in Cinque Terre, perched ourselves on the rocks on the edge of the sea and watched as the sun set over the Italian Riviera.

Drinking wine watching the sunset in Cinque Terre

While I can’t say that the wine didn’t give me a bit of a blurry head, I found myself surprised every single morning wondering where my headache and hangover were but they didn’t show all week.  Maybe all it takes is a good quality wine (and possibly a stunning location) for me to be the sophisticated grown up I envisioned when I took my first sip of wine years ago.

How I wish I could live on Italian wine and bruschetta in Italy forever but I guess just going for something a bit more special the next time I fancy a glass will have to do.  Tesco’s 2 for £10 wines will never catch my eye again!

Wine at Il Pirata Cafe Cinque Terre Italy

Enjoying the wine a bit too much in Cinque Terre

As the Italian saying goes:

“Una cena senza vino e come una giornata senza sole”.

“Dinner without wine is like a day without sun” – and there was lots of sun while we were in Italy!

26 thoughts on “Becoming a Wino in Italy

  1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    So funny that Alex often gets rose on a boys night out! I wonder if the Italian wine culture will be powerful enough to win me over 😀

    • Ayla says:

      He doesn’t care in the slightest – if he likes it he drinks it! Hmm if the cocktails in Cuba didn’t win you over then I’m not sure the wine in Italy will either. I drank your share in both places so don’t worry about it 😉

    • Ayla says:

      I’m missing the cheese, the pizza, the pasta, the gelato, the focaccia, the wine…I’m missing everything to be honest! Cinque Terre is so beautiful and was such a lovely place to spend a few days.

  2. Nita says:

    Awesome! Glad you had a great time and a newfound appreciation for wine 😀 That sunset scene just looks perfect; sometimes, simple really does the trick! Look forward to the food pictures!!

    • Ayla says:

      I originally thought we should have a meal in a nice restaurant on our last evening in Italy but the wine in plastic cups and pizza in a take away box was just the perfect way to end the trip 🙂 Oh and the food is even better Nita!

  3. jogonmum says:

    Sounds amazing – makes me consider actually drinking alcohol! I don’t drink at all – but you’re right, having a glass of wine with your meal does sound sophisticated and grown up! The only thing I get round here is whine!!! Haha!!! 😜 sorry that was an appalling joke…!!! xxx

    • Ayla says:

      Hahaha, no no that made me laugh!! I think all the whining would need a glass of wine to be honest but now I enjoy it more maybe I’ll just have your share too 😉

  4. Packing my Suitcase says:

    I loooved this post!! I am a wine lover, and when I started reading the text I thought: I think Mrs. Ayla needs to drink great wine, then she won’t wake up with headaches… I am so happy that by the end of the post you said it yourself 😀
    I am very happy that you enjoyed drinking wine… maybe now it’s time to start the habit back at home? With good wine, of course 😉

    And in Cinque Terre? Just heaven… I am dying to go there and can’t wait to read about your trip there ❤

    Ps.: I couldn't resist… I had to look at the food! I LOVE bruschettas ❤

    • Ayla says:

      Yup that’s definitely the plan. I need to find some good wine here and I know I’ll be looking for the Italian bottles! Cinque Terre is so so lovely. I usually prefer exploring new countries and cities but this is one of the few places that I would go back to in heartbeat. You HAVE to go!

      (PS. More food pics coming soon!) 🙂

      • Packing my Suitcase says:

        Italian wine is my favourite!! You can never go wrong with a Chianti 😀 I love it!
        I soo want to try the Cinque Terre wine, I have heard about it!
        I DO HAVE TO GO ❤
        Excited to see more!

  5. Katie Featherstone says:

    Haha! I’m glad you had a lovely time and enjoyed the wine without a hangover. It sounds delicious and that sunset is just stunning. Local recommendations for food and drink are always the best way to go! 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      I really don’t think you can go wrong with food and drink in Cinque Terre. Or anywhere in Italy for that matter. Every single sip and every single mouthful was just divine. You’ve made me drool again now just thinking about it! 😉

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