For those that haven’t heard of When in Rome before, tell us a little bit about yourselves?
When in Rome was created with a simple mission, to bring beautiful, Italian craft wines to the UK in as sustainable a way as possible. We wanted to break all the rules, disrupt the market place and demonstrate that good wine doesn’t have to come in single use glass bottles.
This dream became a reality when CEO and chief disrupter Rob Malin was in Milan for work and with the help of Google, met Andrea Marchesi and Lorenzo Canali at La Bottega del Vinaiolo, which was renowned for supplying the Milanese with the best box wines Italy has to offer.
Since then, When in Rome has led the way on alt format and refill wines, with a lead role in Waitrose’s recent Unpacked Project.
We are also branching out and sourcing craft wine from other great European wine regions through our partnerships. As well as the Phillip Schofield wines, which includes a Falanghina that is as traditional and Italian as the Campanian hills on which it grows, we will soon see classic wines from Portugal supplied in boxes in collaboration with The Wine Show. This is another exciting step forward in our mission to offer quality craft wine at an affordable price point.
Your wine comes in cardboard boxes and focuses on sustainability, what made you choose that route?
When in Rome Wine wants to help the rest of the world enjoy wine like many Europeans do – in a more social, healthy, and environmentally sustainable way.
A simple rule of thumb for consumers who want to make environmentally friendly decisions is that the lighter and more recyclable the packaging, the less impact it has on the climate.
So, besides being cheaper and more convenient, the decision to sell wines only in bag-in-box is designed to minimise the impact our business and our customer base has on the environment/climate. One drink at a time! Huge amounts of single use wine bottles are still not being recycled, and glass discarded in the environment takes over a million years to decompose.
Drinking wine from a bag-in-box generates around 10x less carbon than drinking from a single use glass bottle, and that is before international transport is taken into account. With the weight of a bottle it is the transportation that adds the extra climate cost.
How did the partnership come together with Phillip Schofield?
We were first introduced to Phillip through a mutual contact as part of his work as a Waitrose Wine ambassador. As many will know he is somewhat of a wine connoisseur in his spare time and has dreams of owning a vineyard at some point. We couldn’t offer him that, but we could give him the next best thing- his own wines, in a box!
He is also very environmentally conscious so we were a good fit for each other
We met a few times, he wanted to be on the tasting panel, and play a full role in the selection of the final wines. We were able to give him autonomy- the final decision was his- because he wanted an authentic experience and wanted to know what he was putting his name to. We think he has made some very good choices.
What are Phillips thoughts on the final wines?
“When I agreed to this partnership, I had certain conditions; I wanted to be part of the tasting team, I wanted figures on how eco-friendly box wine was and I wanted it to be good value. The result is something I felt I could really invest in.
“I have really enjoyed the process of sourcing, selecting and now sharing these wines with everyone. I don’t think there is anything I have been so passionate about, so I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do.”
Take us through each of the wines and any pairings you have for them?
Falanghina, might be one of the newer Italian white grapes for many Flavourly customers, but it is, in fact, as old as the hills of Campania in South West Italy, where it comes from. It has evolved throughout the ages and in its modern guise, it provides a fruity, full-flavoured alternative to Pinot Grigio. For the uninitiated, Falanghina is pronounced with a hard ‘g’, as in ‘fragrant’.
Phillip has chosen a wine produced by the cooperative Antica Hirpinia from their vineyards just outside Taurasi, in the Campanian region. It has delicate aromas of acacia and orange blossom and tickles the taste buds with green apple, quince and lime flavours, offering a crisp, minerally finish.
If you are trying it for the first time, Falanghina pairs well with all manner of seafood and is tangy enough to stand up to tomato-heavy Neapolitan dishes. It goes very nicely with an asparagus and goats cheese ravioli, or if you’re pushing the boat out fish and chips.
Nero di Troia, is probably another grape that is unfamiliar to many readers. La Cantina di Andria known locally as “Il Vigniolo”, use Nero di Troia to make this beautiful organic wine. Andria is a cooperative winery made up of 40 producers covering around 200 hectares spread over the hills of the Castel del Monte region of Puglia.
As the bio on the Flavourly web site says, the origins of Nero di Troia are rather unclear. Troia is a small village in the Puglia region, on the heel of Italy, near where this wine is made. Furthermore, Troia is the Italian word for Troy as in Trojan horse in Ancient Greece
Inside this humble box is a real powerhouse of a red, rippling with blackcurrant, plum and red cherry notes. Its firm structure finishes with complex hues of violets, star anise and fig. For those doing an online shop, this wine goes great with pasta, and roast lamb.