LIST: Italian Wine Bars & Restaurants You Should Try In Kenya, At Least Once
The best Italian wine bars and restaurants in town, according to Gambero Rosso's Top Italian Restaurants Around the World Digital Guide, were honoured at the first-ever Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wine Roadshow in East Africa.
The top Italian wine bars and restaurants in Kenya have been announced by Gambero Rosso, the leading authority in Italian food and wine all over the world.
The announcement on Wednesday, January 31 marks the first time Gambero Rosso has mapped Italian-flavoured establishments in Kenya, giving a coveted glimpse of where to get the best Italian cuisine, pizza and wine in the country.
Announcing the first-ever Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wine Road Show in East Africa held on Tuesday, January 30, leading Italian wine expert Marco Sabellico, senior editor of Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia guidebook expressed satisfaction in the passion for Italian wine and traditions in Kenya, noting that there was room for introducing even more culinary varieties.
Guests sampling different wines during the Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Road Show In Nairobi on January 30, 2023. /GAMBERO ROSSO
Ten establishments were named in the top Italian restaurants category namely (Nairobi unless stated otherwise);
- Liv Vin
- La Casa Di Nico
- La Terrazza
- La Salumeria
- La Villa
- La Dolce Vita
- La Cascina
- Casa Mia (Diani)
- Roberto’s (Mombasa)
- Visiwa (Watamu)
On the list of top Italian pizzerias were (Nairobi unless stated otherwise);
- Solo Grano
- Mambo Italia
- Roberto’s (Mombasa)
- Papa Remo (Watamu).
In the top Italian wine bars category, the following were named for the best choice Italian wine in the country:
- Wine & More
- New Italycor
- Liv Vin
“We look for quality. So even if you do 10 different recipes from 10 different regions, each one must encompass the spirit of that recipe.
"Where it is not possible to achieve the expected culinary strictness of the region, we insist on using mostly Italian ingredients to achieve that desired and exquisite taste and face of Italy”, said Sabellico.
The Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wine Roadshow held in Nairobi was organized through Vinpodium, a wine consultancy practice that links European wine producers with African distributors and the hospitality industry. Featured were 35 top wineries representing 15 wine regions of Italy.
The event was graced by diverse local and regional wine connoisseurs including traders and importers who got to sample over 150 different premium awarded wines covering White, Red, Rose and Sparkling varieties in a convivial atmosphere with the bonus of meeting the actual winemakers.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Gladys Shollei among those in attendance during the Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Road Show In Nairobi on January 30, 2023. /GAMBERO ROSSO
An incomparable opportunity to get a flavour of Italy’s different terroirs and wine denominations, it also featured two wine master classes presented by Sabellico and co-presented by Kenyan Wine expert and Sommelier Victoria Mulu-Munywoki, who expressed confidence in Italian wine competitiveness for discerning consumers in Kenya and East Africa.
“This is perhaps the best gift we could have given the wine business community in Kenya as we start the year. We have a huge percentage of discerning wine lovers in Kenya and who are always keen to sample new grape varietals and wine styles such as the 35 producers who have shown an interest in Kenya through Gambero Rosso”, she said.
Mulu-Munywoki added that local wine importers and traders now have the opportunity to do business with leading Italian wine houses including acquiring knowledge and expertise that is required for developing a thriving Italian wines category in Kenya same as with French and South African wines that have long dominated the market.
According to Euromoney's Passport, as of 2020, between 25 to 30 million litres of wine was sold in Kenya indicating a massive potential for growth of Italian wines in Kenya and the region. In tapping into this market, Gambero Rosso aims to increase awareness and consumption of Italian wines, especially to new consumers and the younger generation.
“Gambero Rosso is excited about the potential for growth in the consumption of Italian wine in Kenya which is the commercial gateway for East and Central Africa, featuring a growing middle class with an increasing curiosity and appreciation for quality wine.
"Italy on the other hand has as long a history of wine-making and it makes sense to showcase this often ignored, yet great quality of wine made from hundreds of unique indigenous grapes found nowhere else in the world”, said Tiina Eriksson, International Business and Events Manager at Gambero Rosso.
Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia guidebook reviews over 25,000 wines, awarding ratings of ‘one to three glasses’ (the highest being the Tre Bicchieri - 3 glasses), and is a testament to the quality and variety of Italian wines.