Ask Winerist

Meet Sarah – Our Rome-Lazio Expert

15 Aug, 2014

Sarah May Grunwald, originally from California, has lived in Australia and Germany before settling in Italy in 2005. She graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in European Humanities and has a sommelier certificate from AIS. Sarah is a professor at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici where she teaches the course “Wines of Italy”. Sarah is an Italian wine ambassador for the Winelover community, the co-owner and manager of Antiqua Tours, which offers wine tastings, winery visits and cultural tours in and around Rome and the author of the wine blog, Tasting Rome.


When did you discover your passion for wine?

In 1997 I had the privilege of studying abroad in South Australia.  It was there that I began visiting wineries throughout the region and discovered the finer side of wine.  I loved visiting smaller wineries where the owners were passionate about the wines they were making.  I was hooked and from that point on I tried to learn as much as possible about wine.

What are your key highlights of the  Lazio wine region? 

Lazio boasts some of most interesting landscapes of the Italian peninsula.  Though it has always been known as a “quantity over quality” region, there are great winemakers proving that this area has great potential.  Volcanic soils, rivers, mountains, the sea as well as an abundance of cultural sites to visit.  It is a great area to explore for winelovers.

Do you have a personal favorite winery in the region and if so why?

My favorite winery is my friend Roberto’s house.  My husband and Roberto make a lovely vino contadino that is for our own personal consumption.  We call the wine Roèt after Roberto and Ettore.  It is made with 3 autochthonous Lazio wine grapes.

Which wine region in the world would you like to visit next?

I would really like to visit more wine regions in Georgia.  I have visited Kakheti and Kartli and I am interested in visiting Guria and Imereti.

What is a traditional local wine and food pairing dish? 

As the saying goes, “If it grows together, it goes together.” So one of my favoritespring pairings is fave beans and pecorino Romano (that in itself is a famous food pairing in Lazio) with a simple, crisp and aromatic Frascati Superior DOCG.


If you like the sound of Sarah and you’re interested in travelling with her, why not give her Food and Wine Walking Tour of Rome a try…

Join our mailing list to stay up to date on our top travel tips and giveaways