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Meals and drink options with them.

Alberta, Canada
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Meals and drink options with them.

OK, my husband and I are not big alcohol drinkers in general, and really not wine drinkers at all. So the question is what would we order to drink with our meals?

I normally drink Coke, but I understand that this can be really expensive, so I will try not to order it too often, I also like Ice Tea, which i figure is probably not available in Italy, it being a North American thing - is that a correct assumption?

I have read that people order bottle water, does this mean a sparkling water, or just regular water? I am also assuming then that restaurants do not provide you with glasses of tap water.

The one wine I do really like is Ernest and Julio, White Zinfandel - what could I order in Rome that would be like this - would they understand white zinfandel if I asked for it? We don't like red wine at all, so we really need to stay away from that.

What about beer, if my husband wanted to order it. He likes to drink Sleeman's Honey Brown type beers, is there a Italian equivalent someone can tell me about?

Thank You, we want to try other things, but no point getting stuck with a bottle of house red that we won't drink.

Thanks again for the information.

Vickie

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scarpenter4
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1. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

a few things:

bottled water: gas (fiz) or still (regular)

Rome's water is excellent" Tap is fine

You can drink or refill you bottles at many fountains around the city.

pittsburgh
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for Rome
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2. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

Hi Vickie,

You can order water with your dinner. Just tell them no fizz. Most of the time the house wine is excellent. They usually just have red or white but I have never had a bad glass of wine in Rome. Beer is very expensive in Rome. It costs more than wine. You won't be forced to drink the wine, though it will be offered. Soda is usually expensive in restaurants with the most expensive I've see is 6 euros for a small glass ( no refills included). The one thing I found in smaller restaurants is that you can order a glass of wine or a half bottle or a whole bottle. At one restaurant I went to I asked for a glass of white wine. They brought out a carafe of wine. I asked the waitress about it and she said it was 6 euros a glass or 13 euros for the bottle. Since there was at least 3 glasses of wine in the carafe my husband and I both had a glass. It was very good. If it hadn't been any good I would have stopped at the first glass.

Donna

ocean
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3. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

The server will ask you if you want l'acqua gassato (or frizzante) which is sparkling or naturale which is still. Tap water is unusual in restaurants. Coke/Coca Lite/Sprite can run 3 to 6 EUR per ca/glass and does not include unlimited refills. It is cheaper to buy a few bottles/cans at a grocery store and keep them in your hotel fridge for snack time.

Birra (beer) can be bionda (light) or scura (dark). I am not familiar with the brands and how they relate to the ones you are familiar with.

Bottled ice tea is available usually in lemon or peach flavor but you will not get the brewed kind. Lipton or Nestea are the brands.

Splash

scarpenter4
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4. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

The best way to order naturale water,which is still

is to say "No Gas"

Everytime we ordered "still" the waiter would say "no gas"

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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5. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

Many Italians (my husband is one) are teetotalers. I was surprised to see how many never drink wine. When I have a dinner at home, I can count on buying about half as much wine as I used to serve in the US.

I don't think zinfandel is grown in Italy. Most people order the house wine, either white or red. You could try getting a quarter litre and see if you like it. It will be different in every restaurant.

Lots of Italians drink beer with their meals, especially with pizza. It's not at all common to drink ice tea or carbonated beverages with the meal. It's more something people drink at a bar. Mineral water is the most common beverage consumed with meals. If you don't want sparking water, ask for natural. The Italian word is "naturale", pronounced nah-toor-AH-lay, but they'll usually understand the American word if you say it slowly. If you want sparkling water, say "gassata", pronounced gah-SAH-tah. (The letter "a" is always pronounced like the "a" in "father".)

rome
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6. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

About wine: There is no Zinfandel or White Zinfandel in Europe, no use asking for it, no one will ever know what you are talking about. You can ask for a rosé, but only better restaurants are going to offer any (simple trattoria have only white and red) and even they won't be as fruity and sweet as a white zin. What you can try is a lambrusco, this is often a sweet, red, lightly bubbly wine from northern Italy and I can imagine you could like it if you are a white zin fan.

The honey brown is a smooth, sweet lager and it will be difficult to find something similar in Italy. Here usually we have Pils, which is going to be too bitter for your husband. You could try the Dreher Brewery, their beers are more like the lagers in Canada, but they are more exposed in northern Italy, in Rome it is difficult to find. And as others have said, beer is expensive in Italy.

rome
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7. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

Might be only a detail, but I realized what I wrote can be misunderstood so, just to clarify: Zinfandel, which came to California from Hungary or Croatia, is the same grape as the Italian "primitivo" grape. The primitivo from the south of Italy is very much like the Californian Zinfandel (heavy, spicy) but you said you like white zin (which is a blush made of zinfandel grapes) and in Italy no one does this to a primitivo.

Just in case you wanted to know ;-)

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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8. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

wine gal, you beat me to it! We love the Primitivo produced in Italy and order it often. We also buy it here whenever we can find a nice bottle.

White Zin is no relation as has been pointed out and I have never seen anything similar in Italy.

rome
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9. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

Nice post. So now I know that teetotaler means astemio (right Lenci?) and what is zinafel. I like beer better than wine. Is it really more expensive than elsewhere? I don't know, I like it "alla spina" spinned (?!) and the "grande" is about 5€ just as a pint in Dublin. I never check how much the drinks are, sorry, I focuse on the food price. Last friday me and a friend enjoyed a "girls" night out We ate at a neigh. restaurant and had: focaccia and grilled vegetables for appetizer, a big roasted "Rombo" fish with potatoes, 1 mineral water bottle, 1/4 liter of the house white wine (fresh and sparkling, don't ask me what it was - it was good), two decaf espresso for 49 euros. And we tipped (4€-we are not stingy it's normal here). Next time I have to remember how much is beer.

We don't usually drink iced tea, american coffee or milk at meals. As suggested you can serenely ask for tap water, the house wine is usually good but you don't have to feel obliged to drink it. Many Italians prefer soda. As we say "il mondo è bello perchè è vario". me, for instance: I still have to understand why drinking even half a glass of wine at lunch is not well seen in USA, maybe we are a tad bit more relaxed in our relashionship with wine. Maybe we are even becoming too much relaxed seen the bad news about bing drinking and our teenagers: but I'm sure poor wine has little to do with that.

Cin Cin everybody.

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: Meals and drink options with them.

Stettola, right, a teetotaler is a person who is "astemio", although one is a noun and the other is an adjective.