When years pass and the succeeding generations go on, things shift to a wider horizon. From 1929, the wine and oil shop of Emidio Bulzoni has seen years of success. From Emidio to his son Sergio and now to the third generation of the family, grandsons Alessandro and Riccardo Bulzoni, the original Vini e Oli at No. 36 Viale dei Parioli has gone through a reformatting of the concept of the wine and oil shop. Just a few weeks ago, Bulzoni opened its doors again with a kitchen and a bar where guests can have a 360 degree experience in choosing, buying and enjoying their choice with food to accompany them.
In the 1930s, Vini e Oli at No. 36 in Viale dei Parioli was a referral point on where to buy wine, vinegar and bulk oil for the workers and their families who lived there. Twenty years later, things shifted in the neighborhood. Parioli became a zone of the wealthy class who buys wine daily for their families. At that point, Sergio, Emidio’s son, introduced the first bottled wines and products that came from other countries. With the affluent neighborhood, the business was prospered. 1972 gave Bulzoni another change because during this period, wines were exclusively sold in bottles and in giving tasting quantities which allowed the customers to taste the wines on the spot, Bulzoni evolved into an Enoteca.
2017 was another turning point for Bulzoni as Alessandro and Riccardo decided to broaden their scope of how their Enoteca will be. Adding a kitchen and a bar on where to try the wines with their selection of dishes is a step forward to the growing and changing market of wine drinkers. As the neighborhood evolves, so does Bulzoni. From Emidio’s Vini e Oli (wines and oils), it is now Vini e Cucina (wines and kitchen).
The new concept of Bulzoni allows a total experience that revolves around the wines, from a wine shop to a wine bar, from a place to purchase to a place of destination. From morning until midnight, you can sit down, choose a plate from their menu and taste a glass (or more) among the one thousand wines that they offer for tastings for the day.
With over a thousand labels, the wines are distributed in the shelves of the mezzanine and ground floor. It’s a striking display of bottles from different areas all waiting to be opened and tried. For a winelover like me, it’s a wonderland in all senses.
Following the logic of wines, Alessandro and Riccardo divided their selection into three categories. Vini Moderni (modern wines) which are produced according to the modern enology techniques; Vini Come Una Volta (wines like before) which are produced according to the old methods, when the human intervention was less aggressive both in the vineyards and in the winery; and the last, Vini Estremi (extreme wines) which are produced by artisan winemakers who evade any chemical additives.
The latter, Extreme Wines is the preferred category of Bulzoni that in fact, they have dedicated a tasting room for them with the bottles in the shelves around the room and a big central table. On the shelves Bulzoni also has their own naturally-produced wine and oil labels that come from their winery in Torri in Sabina in Lazio.
At the fully-visible corner kitchen of Bulzoni, dishes of appetizers, pasta, meat, salads and desserts can be ordered for lunch and dinner. For the off-times, tapas, pintxos and platters of salumi and cheese are available throughout the day. Like with the wine, Bulzoni also puts importance on the quality of the ingredients of their dishes. The meat comes from Bottega Liberati, the pasta from Verrigni, cheese and salumi from DOL and Le Orme, and the fresh pasta from Aldo Manzo.
Some recommendable pintxos that I’ve tried are: Tonno di coniglio e pepperone arrosto (tonno of rabbit and roasted peppers, a Piemontese appetizer of slow-cooked rabbit meat then conserved in an abundance of oil and garlic), fungo cardoncello e cicoria ripassata (cardoncello mushroom and sautèed chicory), burrata affumicata e pomodoro arrosto (smoked burrata and roasted tomato). A taste of a couple of their tapas is with the verza e salsiccia di fegato (savoy cabbage and liver sausage) and Fiocco della Tuscia alla piastra, verdure e mosto cotto (grilled Fiocco della Tuscia, vegetables and cooked must). For an excellent plate of pasta, the pappardelle al ragù di frattaglie (pappardelle with offal ragù). As for the meat main course from Bottega Liberati, Bistecca di manzo e patate arrosto (beef steak with roasted potatoes), cooked to perfection, tender and tasty. Concluding the dinner with a low key dessert, sbrisolona alle mele (apple crumble) was simply perfect.
Viale dei Parioli, 34
00197 Roma (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 068070494
Open daily from 10 AM to 12 Midnight except Sundays