The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

An insider's guide to wine when in Rome

Sorpasso

Sorpasso

Armed with insider's tips and a thirst for adventure, Max Allen joins friends, Romans and countrymen at the Italian capital’s most notable wine bars.

So, you have a few days in Rome and you like good wine. Where to drink? The city's piazze are chockers with options - bars and wine shops abound, there's an enoteca on every corner. You know they can't all be good. Some inside knowledge would be handy.

Before I left home for a week's Roman holiday recently, I asked the professionals for advice: wine merchants, importers, journalists and restaurateurs who visit regularly and love to sniff out the city's latest wine bars, as well as revisiting old favourites.

I was bombarded with suggestions and arrived in Rome with a long list. For a local perspective, I caught up for a drink with US-born Rome expert and GT contributor Katie Parla. She moved here from New Jersey in 2003 and has written extensively on the city's dining and drinking scenes. Her app, Katie Parla's Rome, and new book, Tasting Rome, are indispensable.

"Roman families don't traditionally spend much on wine," Parla told me. "So the older, established bars and enotecas can be reasonably priced, but a little parochial.

The younger generation sees the wine their parents drink as old-fashioned. For them, craft beer is more interesting, so you'll find lots of great beer in Rome now.

And natural wine is taking hold among the next gen; you didn't used to see much French wine in Rome, but the natural-wine folk love to drink French, so you're seeing more bottles from outside Italy on offer." Parla suggested I talk to Hande Leimer, a sommelier who runs the Vino Roma wine studio near the Colosseum. "When I first came to Rome in 2008," said Leimer, "the wine scene was pretty conservative, especially for someone like me, born in Turkey, with a German name - and a woman! But the last two or three years have seen more new places opening up - like Litro and La Barrique - that are more openminded and serving more interesting, adventurous wines. Now I can even find German wines here."

Thanks to my boozy brains trust, I drank - and ate - exceedingly well in Rome. I found the city has essentially three kinds of wine-drinking destinations: well-known, hugely popular (and usually crowded) old-school institutions with lots of classic bottles; more relaxed, low-key hangouts, mostly patronised by locals, offering well-priced traditional Roman cooking; and new-wave wine bars that tap into lively, global trends - modern and inventive food, lots of natural wines and craft beers - attracting a younger crowd.

These are my picks of the insiders' tips.

OLD-SCHOOL CLASSICS

Roscioli

Roscioli barman Davide Di Fede.

You can't visit Rome and not try the legendary, luxurious carbonara at this gorgeous old institution, a combination of restaurant, wine bar, deli and salumeria. Trouble is, every other tourist has been told to try Roscioli's carbonara, too, so the place is always packed and bookings are essential. Romans love Roscioli as much as the tourists do; as I ordered my second glass of superb, glowing purple Medici Ermete Lambrusco to help wash down the prodigious amounts of guanciale and Parmigiano-Reggiano coating my pasta, it seemed every person squeezing into the chairs and tables around me was talking and gesticulating like a true Roman. A great experience. Via dei Giubbonari, 21, +39 06 687 5287, salumeriaroscioli.com

Cul de Sac


Just off Piazza Navona, this long, narrow bar is always full; we were shunted down the back to a tiny wooden booth, with train-style luggage racks above our heads. As in so many of the bars I visited in Rome, the choice and value here were remarkable: more than 1,500 wines on the encyclopedic list, many at exceptional prices. With the hare and truffle pâté, and artichoke pie ($10 each) the waiter recommended a lovely, textural white called Pozzodorico, made from the bellone grape, grown in the region of Lazio - and just $24 a bottle. A crazy bargain and a great match. Piazza Pasquino, 73, +39 06 6880 1094, enotecaculdesacroma.it

Enoteca Bulzoni

A confession: for reasons I won't bore you with, I wasn't able to get to this benchmark enoteca. But almost every wine insider I spoke to recommended it, and that's good enough for me. This is the old-school meets new-school Roman wine experience. Bulzoni has been selling booze in the upmarket Parioli district for more than 80 years, but it has also recently become known for its huge selection of cutting-edge natural wines, best enjoyed (according to my informants) on the patio. Viale Parioli, 36, +39 06 807 0494, enotecabulzoni.it

LOCAL AND TRADITIONAL

Enoteca Il Goccetto


Even though it has the words "vino" and "olio" over the door, Il Goccetto is easy to miss. Look for people sitting on the steps outside, smoking, drinking wine and reading the paper. It's a small cosy place, and it makes few concessions to tourists: there's no menu turistico, no bookings, just a list of 60 wines by the glass on the blackboard behind the bar, and hundreds more bottles crowded on the shelves lining the walls. Choose from the antipasto cabinet - fennel and blood-orange salad, say, or smoked salmon - order a $10 glass of Friulano and settle in. I love this place. Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, +39 06686 4268, ilgoccetto.com

Enoteca Corsi


With a wine shop on one side and a homely restaurant on the other, this unassuming 77-year-old family-run enoteca near the Pantheon is the real deal, serving classic Roman dishes such as deep-fried whole artichokes and slow-roast lamb and potatoes. Choose what you're going to eat, then select a bottle of well-priced wine from the shelf or fridge (I discovered a delicious locally grown tempranillo, of all things, for just $27) and pay a couple of extra euro corkage. Corsi is mostly lunch only, but does occasionally open for dinner; check in advance. Via del Gesu, 87/88, +39 06 679 0821, enotecacorsi.com

Cavour 313

On busy Via Cavour, which runs from Termini train station to the Forum, there's a recessed marooncoloured door bearing the address - Cavour 313 - and the words "Vini E Liquori" above. Seek refuge inside at the well-stocked bar - including rare rums and whiskies from renowned Italian specialist spirits merchant Samaroli - and in the wood-panelled, strangely Austrian ski lodge-style booths of a small restaurant. It serves some of the freshest, simplest and best food I had in Rome, such as a textbook dish of salt cod and potatoes with a deliciously rich Lazio white called Capolemole. Via Cavour, 313, +39 06 678 5496, cavour313.it

NEW WAVE

La Barrique

Slip down a side street off the main fashion strip in the Monti district and duck into this pioneering bar: very casual and with a strong hint of Parisian caves à vin naturel. It has one of the city's best selections of artisan and natural bottles. From the many wines available by the bicchiere, and 250ml and 500ml carafe, we chose a fabulously lively organic grillo from Di Giovanna in Sicily and a pale but intensely savoury nebbiolo from Arpepe, one of the leading lights of the Valtellina district in Piedmont. One of La Barrique's owners is also a partner in Remigio, a small bar in Tuscolana specialising in Champagne and sparkling wine. Via del Boschetto, 41, +39 06 4782 5953

Litro


The chalked words on the blackboard between the kitchen and the bar say it all: "Vini naturali e biodinamici". The shelves are lined with quirkily labelled bottles from Italy and further afield: countless small-scale, artisan, natural and biodynamic wines I've never seen before. As Leimer says, "If you want to see how things are changing in the Roman wine scene, Litro is unmissable." Importantly, Litro is primarily a good café and bar for the locals of Monteverde, with great modern bistro food, no menu turistico. Oh, and a wicked selection of mezcal. Via Fratelli Bonnet, 5, +39 06 4544 7693, vinerialitro.it

Al Vino Al Vino

A couple of blocks away from La Barrique, this lively bar straddles traditional and new-wave styles of enoteche. It feels a little old-fashioned when you walk in - crowded bar, lots of wooden shelves lined with bottles - but then you realise the clientele is mostly young and local, the constantly changing list of wines by the glass includes bottles from Puglia and Burgundy, as well as the classic regions of northern Italy, and the menu includes decidedly un-Roman dishes such as superb Sicilian caponata. Via dei Serpenti, 19, +39 06 485 803

Sorpasso

After a long morning at the Vatican galleries, have lunch at this "wine café and kitchen" nearby. Sorpasso is a great place for locally inspired food and wine - trippa alla Romana is a speciality; the earthy red wine of star regional producer Damiano Ciolli is poured by the glass. But there are other elements that would be at home in similar modern wine bars around the world: the trippa is listed on the menu as a Spanish-style ración serving; the wine list is sprinkled with Mosel riesling and Beaujolais; and the young staff wear T-shirts bearing the slogan "Life is too short to drink bad wine" on the back. Great fun. Via Properzio, 31/33, +39 06 8902 4554, sorpasso.inf

GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Italian cooking schools

Even if you don’t know your tortellini from your tortelloni,...

Italy's new wave pizza

From one end of the boot to the other, Italy’s favourite fas...

Capri calling

Like the fabled sirens, this enchanted isle has long attract...

Best Italian villas

We check out the new crop of luxe residences to rent that gi...

The best of Rome

From Paloma Picasso and Kate Winslet to Elizabeth Gilbert an...

Sting and Trudie Styler's Tuscan estate

Il Palagio, the 16th-century Tuscan estate restored by Sting...

Genoa, Italy

Genoa, the coastal town that gave the world pesto, Christoph...

Unsung Tuscany

Welcome to the Maremma, a former wild frontier that’s home t...

Choc tactics

The Aztecs may have first cottoned on to cocoa and it has be...

La Serenissima

Venice seduces with its intoxicating mix of history, mystery...

Roman roaming

When Josephine McKenna moved to Rome five years ago, she was...

Modena, Italy

Modena is full of surprises: a quiet town that has given us ...

A place in the Tuscan sun

The Roman glitterati flock to the Argentario coast for summe...

Milan travel guide

While Milan matches Rome or Venice for historical romance, i...

Naples travel guide

Art, artefacts, archeological digs and fine artisanal produc...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×