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About this Episode

Tina Johansson, WSET Diploma Graduate and Michelin restaurant sommelier, joins Robert Tas to talk about the wine list at Audrey, a traditional south-eastern inspired restaurant with a menu that serves local and seasonal products to showcase the best of the South. cornbread, heirloom apples and grits, all cooked and presented with a modern take. Want to know what to pair with grilled deer skewer with hickory oil, or ember-baked Candy Roaster squash? Tina offers pairing suggestions to make sure you choose the right wine for your dining experience, and with wines from Slovakia, South Africa, Europe and beyond, Tina’s selection ensures a next-level dining experience.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 Testalonga El  Bandito, South Africa

  • 2018 Marie-Courtin Blanc de Noirs, Champagne

  • 2017, Vino di Anna, “Jeudi 15”, Sicily

Transcript: Audrey


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules!

I’m your host Robert Tas along with Tina Johansson, WSET Diploma Graduate and Michelin restaurant sommelier.

Hi Tina, thanks for being back with us on another episode of CorkRules, - a podcast where we help simplify and demystify the wine lists at some of your favorite restaurants. We talk with certified sommeliers and wine professionals who point out interesting bottles, classic food and wine pairings, hidden gems, value wines, or splurge wines that will take your dining experience over the top.

TJ: Thank you, Robert. Today we’re talking about Audrey, a restaurant in Nashville. It’s run by Sean Brock, a chef many will recognize from his interesting episode in Netflix Chef’s Table. Audrey is his flagship restaurant and as all of his cooking it’s devoted to the flavors and produces of the Southern cuisine. The name Audrey actually comes from his grandmother who has inspired Brock's cooking.

RT: Yes, and as focus is on local and seasonal products the menu here is ever-changing to showcase the best of the South. The menu consists of classics like cornbread, heirloom apples and grits, all cooked and presented with a modern take. How would you like grilled deer skewer with hickory oil, or ember-baked Candy Roaster squash? I’m very intrigued!

TJ: So am I! Both by the food menu, and by the wine list. The list shows real width. It has all the classics like Burgundy, Rioja and Napa Valley, but also unknown origins like Greece or Slovakia showing all that is the world of wine today. The sparkling wine section is also quite big here. It’s the type of list where there is something fun for everyone.

RT: Sounds like a real interesting list. So, what would be your pick with a classic Southern dish like Jimmy red grits, here served with cured egg yolk and bay laurel? It’s quite unique flavors from the almost extinct Jimmy red corn, a variety Sean Brock helped bring back from near extinction.

TJ: I would do as the Italians do in the northern part of the country with their polenta and pair with a lighter style of red wine, but something more fruit-driven to match with the red corn used here. So let’s travel to the south of Italy and to Sicily with an extremely juicy red from Vino di Anna, the 2017 Jeudi 15. Fresh enough to cut through the creaminess of the grits but with enough red berry flavor to also handle the natural sweetness of the red corn.

RT: Yes, what a fun wine! And since I know you said that the list is very broad, is there something extra fun to drink in Audrey? Something you might not come across on many other wine lists?

TJ: Yes, so many bottles! Like I said they hold wines from fun origins like Slovakia and Greece, but the one wine that catches my eye is the 2021 Testalonga El  Bandito. It’s a Chenin Blanc from South Africa with skin contact. All the color, flavor and also tannins that gives astringency comes from the skin of the grapes. When you make red wine, you always keep the skins in the juice during fermentation to capture all of this in the wine, but for white wine usually you don’t. But, in a skin contact white the skins are left in just like with red wine. That means the color turns more to orange than white and the wine is more structured and flavorful. For me it’s a great style of wine to pair with food!

RT: Sounds like a fun style of wine, I know skin contact wines are getting more popular so it’s definitely something to try for those who haven’t yet. And finally, if you were celebrating a birthday in Audrey, what would be your special bottle for the night? Maybe something sparkling since you said they had quite a big section, both with Champagne and other sparkling?

TJ: Yes, I would definitely choose one of their fun sparkling wines! And even though they keep wines from almost every wine making country here, I’m a sucker for Champagne so I would celebrate with the 2018 Marie-Courtin Blanc de Noirs, made from pinot noir only in a richer style, very suited for the food here.

RT: That sounds great, I can’t wait to dine, and of course drink, in Audrey. Thank you so much for another episode, Tina.To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules.

If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to:

Info@CorkRules.Com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists wherever you get your podcasts.

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.



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