Good Wine Shop/s in Florence

Hi there,

I was talking to an Australian friend tonight who is travelling to Italy in May and spending a few days in Florence. He is keen to buy a a few interesting bottles to take back to Australia, that needn’t necessarily be from Tuscany. Does anyone have up to date info on good wine shops there, rather than places that just load up the prices for sucker tourists?

Thanks in advance…Mark

Lots of stores for tourists near the Duomo, not all of them bad btw. The best I can do on “insider spots” is one near the central market (Mercato Centrale), itself worth a visit in any case. It’s a “wine bar” that also sells bottles: “Casa del vino Firenze.” Everything by the glass is very good and quite reasonable, as are also the memorable sandwiches. Claims to have serious bottles as well, including some from Piedmont (Rinaldi, B. Mascarello).

Enoteca Bonatti is usually cited as the best wine shop in Florence. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the Duomo area. Nice selection of mostly current releases from all over Italy at good prices, and a smaller selection of wines from outside Italy. Very knowledgeable staff.

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If Ian Sutton doesn’t pop up in this thread soon, I would PM him. He has been an outstanding resource on all things Italy.

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Hi Neal
I appreciate the kind comment, but I’ve not been to Florence, so unfortunately can’t help. Of course if Mark’s friend wants any info for places in Italy I have been, then I’d be happy to help.

p.s. Bonatti is listed in the current edition of Golosario, so there’s another recommendation. Enoteca Alessi, Enoteca Internazionale di Rham and Enoteca Bussotti also listed, but I can’t advise whether any good. Might be worth a quick online comparison to see if any are noticeably cheaper / more expensive.

OK then; an outstanding resource on most things Italy!

I’d be happy with “Tries hard”. [basic-smile.gif]

I’m following this thread, since I’ll be in Florence in October–and all my Florence information is 10+ years old.

But if you’re going to be in Florence, you must spend at least one day in Sienna.
And visit Enoteca Italiana: -and-

Vinoteca al Chianti (in the SUburbs near the Certosa)
Enoteca Bonatti
Pitti Gola e Cantina (also a wine bar, you can buy and ship wines from there too)
In the suburbs you can go to Bar Rolando in Campi Bisenzio, super cheap. The guy sells out of his warehouse and speaks no English

Hi Robert
I swear we must have been missing something, but were utterly underwhelmed by the national enoteca in the old fortifications, which seemed to be ‘going through the motions’ when we visited. I’d love to hear of someone having a great experience and that we’d somehow misunderstood what it is about.

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Hello, Ian.

I have been there twice–about 15 years ago, and again five or six years back.
I was over- rather than under-whelmed on my first visit, but then i knew very little about Italian wines and found it interesting and educational (and came away with assorted ‘Super Tuscans’ and Vin Santos that I would never find at home).

On the more recent visit, I found it a good place to look for (and taste) relative obscurities (Valtellina and Valle d’Aosta I remember in particular) and a broad range of Tuscan wines (such as Chiantis other than Classico).

But I suppose my bigger point if that if you’re in Florence you must, IMO, spend at least one day in Sienna–and while you’re there, visit the Enoteca. I wasn’t really suggesting a special trip; the Enoteca is more a target of opportunity.


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Hi Robert
Sounds better than our trip, where the staff seemed pre-occupied and it came across more like a fusty old museum, plus there were fewer wines on tasting than most enoteche we’ve visited. To be fair, after our trip I heard there were financial problems / fears about its future, so that may have been a factor. This would have been between your two trips.