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About this Episode

Samantha Hohl, a certified sommelier, joins Robert Tas to review the wine list at Barbuto, an Italian restaurant heavily influenced by California vibes. The menu is simple and seasonal and the wine list features an eclectic selection of Italian, French, and California wines, amongst other lesser-known varietals from all over the world. Sam dives into the wine list to find a few hidden gems and makes stellar pairing suggestions to help tantalize the taste buds.

 Wines reviewed include:

●  2018 Vigneti Luigi Oddero e Figli “La Morra” from Barbera d’Alba

●  2018 Lieu Dit, Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Ynez Valley

●  2019 Feudo Montoni “Lagnusa”, Nero d'Avola

Transcript: Barbuto


RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules!

A podcast where, in each episode, we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Samantha Hohl, certified sommelier.

Hello Sam, it’s great to have you on this episode.

SH: Hi Robert! I’m very excited to be here. I’m so thrilled to be talking about the wine list at Barbuto with you today!

RT: I’m glad you’re here to talk us through it!  CorkRules was created to demystify wine lists because we know from experience that sometimes when we get that list handed to us, well… it can be intimidating, even more so if it’s hard to pronounce.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, or value wines or that special bottle that will take your dining experience over the top.

Today we are talking about Barbuto! The West Village restaurant that has been a neighborhood gathering spot welcoming locals and visitors alike for over 15 years. The name Barbuto means “bearded” in Italian. When developing the concept, Jonathan and his business partner at the time Fabrizio Ferri both sported beards and this is where the name was born!

So, Sam, what’s your overall impression of the list @ Barbuto?

SH: As a sommelier in the Napa Valley, I love to see some amazing California gems hidden on a wine list in NYC! Chef Jonathon Waxman at Barbuto features a unique take on Californian-Italian cuisine that is simple and seasonal. Their wine list features an eclectic selection of Italian, French, and California wines, amongst other lesser-known varietals from all over the world.

RT: That concept of Italian-Californian cuisine does sound intriguing. Are there any dishes on their menu that jumps out to you? Any hidden gems on the wine list you’d pair with those dishes?

SH: Definitely, the Polpettone appetizer enticed me right away! It’s a tomato-based crispy pork stuffed meatball dish. The 2018 Vigneti Luigi Oddero e Figli ‘La Morra’ from Barbera d’alba comes to mind. The fresh acidity serves as a balance beam upon which savory red fruits leap and strut, and the wine displays a marked sense of liveliness. With its high acidity, and medium to low amounts of tannin, Barbera would be a perfect match for the Polpettone dish!

RT: That sounds like a delicious pairing! Any other pairings for those interesting California wines you were mentioning earlier?

SH: But of course, Robert! I found an absolute favorite wine of mine that would go spectacular with the Insalata Fagiolii Tonnato dish. The 2018 Lieu Dit, Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Ynez Valley in Central California. Founded by longtime friends Eric Railsback and Justin Willett, Lieu Dit seeks to highlight the unique microclimates and soils of Santa Barbara, focusing on Loire Valley grape varieties. This sauvignon blanc is zesty on the palette and marked by flavors of citrus rind, pear skin, white flowers, and a bright minerality on the finish.

RT: Wow, you really sold me on that pairing! Sheena, are there anymore wines that caught your eye? You spoke about some lesser-known varietals that were on the list, I’m curious to hear a little more about them.

SH: Certainly! Since Barbuto features mostly Italian cuisine, I would like to talk about a lesser-known varietal grown in the Southern part of Italy, on a little island called Sicily. The 2019 Feudo Montoni ‘Lagnusa’, Nero d'Avola gives us a very accurate portrayal of the grape, with plenty of ripe, dark and purple fruits followed by scorched earth, toasted almond and a hint of black olive. The producer, Fabio Sireci, culls fruit for this wine from 35-year-old vines propagated from his ancient Vrucara plot. The name of the wine, Lagnusa, is named after the Sicilian word for "lazy" because of the low yields associated with this particular growing site with heavy clay soils. Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety in Sicily and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones.

RT: I’ve said this once and I’ll say this again, there is always so much to discover with the wines of Italy!

SH: There really is, and I’m totally here for it! Haha

RT: Me too, Sam! Thank you so much for being our guide and helping us navigate the Italian/Californian wine list at Barbuto. I can’t wait to do some food and wine pairing there! 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.

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




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