Buying Wine

photo vino sfuso Venice, filling a wine bottleProsecco is the sparkling wine of the Veneto region and is delicious. Bellini is the cocktail of Venice, invented at the famous Harry’s Bar. Just as popular is Aperol Spritz. Both cocktails are made with Prosecco.

But if you are cost-cutting and want to buy everyday wine the local way, head for a vino sfuso shop (vino sfuso = unpackaged/bulk wine). There’s a good one in Castello on the corner of Calle Lion and Fondamenta San Giorgio dei Schiavoni. Like most small shops in Venice, it has no name displayed – people just know where it is!

Five huge and sparkling steel vats line the wall, each with a different label: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, Merlot, and Cabernet.

The atmosphere in the shop is friendly, and customers can taste the wines in an ombretta (small glass or cup) before choosing.
photo, sampling vino sfuso in Venice wine shop

A 3-litre bottle filled with very drinkable local Pinot Grigio costs the equivalent of four normal bottles. We came back another day and selected a pleasant Merlot for the same price.

Local wines tend to be less alcoholic than in the UK, typically 11.5 instead of around 13, so they slip down real easy! You may find yourself becoming a frequent visitor to this delightful shop.

(Click images to enlarge)