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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a trip to Silver Lake hotspot in L.A., Botanica. As the name suggests, the restaurant is all about fresh, healthy, and farmer-centric food that is vibrant, exciting and nourishing. And their wine list follows their ethos with a great selection of natural wines. In addition to the special bottles, value wines, and hidden gems, Grace introduces a blend of old-school indigenous Italian varietals, a blend of 16 varietals for the adventurous, and a traditional Italian cabernet.

Wines reviewed include:

●  Arpege Premier Cru Blanc de Blanc from Pascal Douqet

●  2017 Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc from Austria

●  2020 Dreams on Layaway

Transcript: Botanica

RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Hi Robert! Happy to be here as always.  

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about those wine lists. We created CorkRules to help 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: Today we will be reviewing the Silver Lake hot spot, Botanica. Grace you mentioned you’ve spent a bit of time in Silver Lake?

GH: Oh yeah – for those of you not familiar with the neighborhoods of LA, Silver Lake is like the Brooklyn of Los Angeles. Lots of artists and hipsters and Instagram-worthy restaurants haha. Def a cool and trendy spot to hang out.

RT: Haha I totally get that vibe. Now, what are your thoughts on Botanica’s wine list?

GH: So Botanica has a few elements to it, it has a little grab and go market as well as a sit down restaurant, and is definitely known for its interesting selection of organic, biodynamic natural wine. I’m interested to see what they have on the list!

RT: Totally. So where would you start?

GH: So they’re menu is very farm-to-table. And they have a lot of types of wine to complement those fresh flavors. If we wanted to start with some bubbles, they have an interesting non-vintage sparkling called Smarazen, which is a petnat of trebbiano and malvasia which are old-school indigenous Italian varietals. Or if you wanted to go with a traditional champagne, you could do the non-vintage Arpege Premier Cru Blanc de Blanc from Pascal Douqet.

RT: Oh those both sound delicious and refreshing. What caught your eye in the white wine selections?

MV: I love me some light aromatic whites, especially when it comes to fresh farm-to-table food where you really don’t want to bog down all those colorful vibrant flavors from the garden. I’m definitely interested in this 2017 Weissburgunder pinot blanc from Austria, or the 2020 Bel Gruner Veltliner from the Czech Republic. It’s really fun to see these smaller countries represented on the Botanica list. I always say the way to learn about wine is to continuously try things you haven’t had before so your palate can build up its muscle memory.

RT: Totally. You have to train it like you train your body in a gym! Love it. Now I feel like since LA is always so sunny and warm, everyone is drinking rose, correct?


GH: Ahaha totally – southern California is rose day all year round type of place. And they have some lovely selections on the Bontanica menu. If you want a domestic rose, I would do the 2020 Dreams on Layaway which I think is such a fun name for a wine, it’s a pinot noir rose from the Santa Cruz regions in California and will be lovely on a warm socal day. Or if you wanted to go with an old-world rose, you could do 2019 Velius which is rose from barbera grapes coming from the Emigla Romagna region of Italy.

RT: Fantastic. I’m sure both of those would be an awesome complement to the freshness of the Botanica menu. Now what about some picks for our red wine drinkers?

GH: You got it, Robert. One that caught my eye was this 2020 Cuvee Rouge de Causes which mentions it is comprised of 16 different white and red grapes from the Langedoc region in France. They might as well call that wine the southern rhone kitchen sink hahaha. If you’re looking for a more traditional red, the 2010 Cantomorro cabernet from Italy would be a really nice lush rich option. I like that it already has 12-years-of-age on it so it’ll be mellow but still full-bodied.


RT: Oh wow those are such interesting options. Thanks for pointing those out. Now how about some value bottles and some for a special occasion?


GH: For a value white, I’ll have to go with the 2020 Les Sarges which is sauvignon blanc from the Loire valley in France. Value red hmmm I think I would do the 2020 Bottle Neck which is blend of syrah and grenache from the Languedoc. For your special occasion bottles – going to have to be the 2016 Essentielle Champagne from Elise Dechenes. Special occasion red – go with the 2019 magnum of Burgundy, and thank me later when you’re the most popular person in Silver Lake haha


RT: Awesome Grace. Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate the Botanica wine list.


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. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace


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


Thank you.







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