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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Blu Ristorante where they offer a stand-out selection of Old-world and New-world wines to accompany their delicious menu. One addition to her suggestions is a pinot noir from the Dundee Hills in Oregon, and a Grecheto from Umbria with notes of white flowers, and lilacs, lemon zest, and grapefruit, with a mineral and herbal finish. Wow! Liquid lusciousness.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 La Carria Grechetto

  • 2016 Bedegas Fuenmayor “Nocedal Reserva” Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain

  • 2020 Zolla Primitivo, Puglia, Italy

Transcript: Blu Ristorante

Blu Ristorante:

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 Blu Ristorante. Located in Yorkville, Ontario, Blu Ristorante is an Italian restaurant featuring classic cuisine. This formal dining destination features live music, private events, and a heated outdoor patio.

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

MQ: Located among shops, museums, and art galleries, Blu Ristorante is the perfect destination to enjoy classic Italian dining paired with an extensive list of old World and New World wines. We hope you enjoy today’s selections from around the globe. RT: That’s really great, as you looked the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: Let’s begin in Umbria with the 2021 La Carria Grechetto. Grechetto is one of the oldest native white grapes to Umbria. This light, dry white wine is floral with notes of white flowers, and lilacs, lemon zest, and grapefruit, with a mineral and herbal finish. Enjoy this wine as an aperitif or to pair with shellfish.

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

MQ: I was fortunate to have the privilege of visiting the Sokol Blosser Winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon, and their wines, like their views, continue to impress. Consider their 2020 Pinot Noir. This highly rated, organic Pinot Noir exudes aromas and flavors of ripe cranberries, mushrooms, clove, and earth. The black cherries, and black pepper add to the complexity of this wine. Pair this Pinot Noir with richly sauced proteins and savory dishes.

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

MQ: A must-try to pair with richly sauced pasta would be the 2016 Bedegas Fuenmayor “Nocedal Reserva” Tempranillo from the Rioja in Spain. I appreciate Spanish wines for handling the aging process for us. I don’t have the patience! The Reserva designation means this wine has aged for a minimum of three years, with at least 12 months of that time, the wine ages in oak.  This dry, bold red wine features ripe red cherries, cassis, fig, and plumb, with notes of vanilla and herbs on the finish.

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: If you are looking for another, crowd-pleasing consideration for the table to pair with all richly sauced dishes on Blu’s menu, consider the 2020 Zolla Primitivo from Puglia. Primitivo is the Italian equivalent to Zinfandel, and this red showcases ripe blackberries, plumb, and fig with notes of spice and vanilla on the finish.

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: If you are looking for a classic Italian white wine of excellent quality and value, consider the 2021 Cabert, Pinot Grigio from Friuli. This Northern Italian white wine is light, dry and features bright acidity with notes of melon, ripe pear, lime zest, and a mineral finish. Pair this white with hard cheese, shellfish, and fried seafood.

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

MQ: A New World standout to consider of excellent quality and value is the 2018 Atkins Farm Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia. This bright, full bodied red wine features ripe red cherries, and strawberries, with notes of lavender, mint, and cola. A perfect companion for all richly sauced proteins and pasta.

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

MQ: Blu Ristorante’s list is full of top-notch, standout wines. One to consider for a special occasion would be the 2017 Il Poggione, Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany. Il Poggione was one of the first wineries to craft Brunello di Montalcino in the early 1900s. With a 95-point rating from the Wine Enthusiast, this stellar Sangiovese exudes aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, and plumb, with notes of tobacco, leather, spice, and thyme. A perfect companion to richly sauced pasta, proteins, and celebrations.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Blu Ristorante’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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