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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a look at Barcelona Wine Bar’s wine list. With locations across 11 states, this Spanish wine bar offers a next-level tapas experience. The cuisine is clean and rustic, the tapas are inspired by Mediterranean, Spanish, and South American influences, and nearly 400 wines are featured on the wine list. In fact, they have one of the largest Spanish wine programs in the United States and offer an extensive selection from Spain and South America. Hola! Let the wine pour while Michaela offers suggestions on what to drink and what to pair with this deliciously Spanish menu.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Cerro Chapeu, 1752 Gran Tradicion, Uruguay

  • 2021 Alta Alella, Aus, Pét Nat, Catalunya, Spain

  • 2019 Bodegas Cueva, Valencia

Transcript: Barcelona Wine Bar

Barcelona Wine Bar:

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 Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier.

Hello Michaela, it’s great to be back together for another episode.

MQ: Hi Robert!

RT: Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules.

We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists because we know from experience, that sometimes when we get that list handed to us, well… it can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

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.

RT: So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.


RT: Today we are talking about Barcelona Wine Bar. Located in 11 states, today we will be discussing their MA locations in Brookline, Cambridge, and the South End. Come ready to enjoy an endless selection of cheese, charcuterie, and tapas.

Michaela, I can’t wait to hear what do you think of their wine list?

MQ: Their wine list is as extensive as their tapas selection. One of the many things I enjoy about Spanish wine is the incredible quality and value. I am excited to feature some stand-out wines today. Barcelona offers wine flights if you truly can’t decide.

RT: That’s really great, as you looked the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: The first wine that caught mt eye was the 2018 Cerro Chapeu, 1752 Gran Tradicion from Uruguay. This is a blend of petit manseng and viognier. These grapes originated in Southern France. This medium-bodied, white wine blend features ripe green apple, pear, citrus, and a mineral finish. This is a wonderful consideration to pair with any rich or spicy dishes.

RT: That is for sure unique. Did you find any others that caught your eye right away?

MQ: Of course! I always check out anything sparkling on a menu, and this did not disappoint. The 2021 Alta Alella, Aus, Pét Nat from Catalunya, Spain. Pet Nat, means a naturally sparkling wine, where the wine is bottled before the first fermentation is complete. No additional sugars or yeasts are added. This sparkler is made from the Xarel-lo grape and offers flavors and aromas of ripe green apple, citrus, minerality, and a hint of salinity on the finish. A refreshing wine to kick off your dining experience.

RT: So Michaela, their list seems to have lots of range but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

MQ: For those of you looking to try an orange wine, look no further than the 2019 Bodegas Cueva, an Orange wine from Valencia. Orange wines are created by allowing the juice of white grapes to stay in contact with the skins during fermentation, producing a deeper color and more tannic quality to the wine. The grape in this medium-bodied wine is Macabeo and features apricot, tangerine, with a nutty finish. This would make an excellent companion to spicy dishes.

RT: These are some great calls.

So, you know I’m getting thirsty and will need to order a bottle with my dinner, where would you guide us?

MQ: A bold, red consideration for the table would be the 2011 La Rioja Alta, 904 Gran Reserva from Rioja. This red wine consists of Tempranillo with a splash of Graciano. The Gran Reserva designation for Spanish wines means that the wine has aged a minimum of five years with at least two years in oak. Therefore, this bottle showcases ripe red cherries, cranberries, leather, smoke, with vanilla on the finish thanks to the oak aging. Certainly, a wine to consider to pair with richly sauced proteins.

RT: Ooh, Terrific.

Michaela, speaking of price, sometimes people have a budget in mind.  Any other great value wines you’d point us to? 

MQ: I am a fan of Vinho Verde wines. Vinho Verde is the region of Portugal that creates light, crisp, and refreshing white wines using blends of native white grapes. One to consider would be the 2020 Asnella, Vinho Verde. The bright acidity, lemon zest, and slight effervescence, along with the lower alcohol content and incredible price point, make this is a wine to be shared and enjoyed with cheese and lightly herbed dishes.

RT: That sounds great. What is your other value selection?

MQ: Another rich, red wine to consider would be the 2011 Castro Ventosa, El Castro de Valtuille from Bierzo. This bottle consists of the Mencia grape, which produces dry, medium-bodied wines showcasing ripe tannins, medium acidity, aromas and flavors of ripe, red cherries, plumb, earth and smoke. A perfect companion to herbed dishes and richly sauced proteins, all at an excellent price.

RT: Now Michaela, what if I have a big client dinner or special occasion where I want to take it up a notch?

MQ: One to consider from the famous Vega Sicilia family is the 2014 Pintia from Toro, Spain. Consisting of 100% Tempranillo, this bold red wine stands out with flavors and aromas of ripe blackberries, plumb, cassis, spice, vanilla, and notes of minerality from the chalky soils of Toro. Consistently highly rated, this wine will certainly complement all rich menu items, and will serve as an excellent conversation piece of its own.

RT: Michaela, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Barcelona Wine Bar’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try them myself.  

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.

Thank you.







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