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About this Episode

Tina Johansson, WSET Diploma Graduate and Michelin restaurant sommelier, joins Robert Tas to review the wine list at Brennan’s, a New Orleans restaurant that has been open since 1946. They offer an innovative Creole menu with influences from France and Spain. If you want a New Orleans experience, this is the place to go. Tina spots a delicious and natural wine prosecco,  a wine to eat with sweet desserts, and a magnum bottle that offers exceptional value. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • NV Prosecco Naturalmente from Casa Coste Piane

  • 2004 Château La Lagune Haut-Médoc

  • 2013 Castello di Volpaia Vinsanto di Chianti Classico

Transcript: Brennan's


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! Great to be back.

RT: Today's restaurant is Brennan’s, a New Orleans classic which opened in the 1940s and has their roots in the Louisiana Creole cooking traditions. The Creole cuisine is a mix of French, Spanish and Western African cooking together with the traditions of the local southern food made here. The menu includes dishes like seafood gumbo, buttermilk roasted chicken, and the more unusual turtle soup.

TJ: Yes, it’s a fun menu packed with flavor! And the wine list is huge! This is the kind of list I would prefer to look at in advance so I know exactly what they offer. If not, I would just end up spending the first 30 minutes of the dinner flipping through the wine selection. I’m sure you know what I mean.

RT: I sure do, the bigger the list the harder it is to choose just one bottle!

TJ: Yes, thankfully I don’t have to limit myself to just one bottle this time. I would say the focus of the wine list is on classic areas and producers, like top Bordeaux and Rhône wines but they have more unusual labels as well and even a section for sustainable picks!

RT: Sounds like a great restaurant for wine lovers. So please let me in on your top bottles from the list. Maybe we could start with something from the sustainable category you mentioned?

TJ: Of course! I actually see my favorite Prosecco there. I’m usually not the biggest fan of Prosecco but this one is more artisanal and complex, a bit unfiltered but still very fresh and crisp like the more classic Prosecco. It’s the NV Prosecco Naturalmente from Casa Coste Piane, I was there visiting a few years back and had this wine with a lentil stew drowning in an amazing local olive oil. That’s an experience and a wine I’ll never forget! It might be a bit more pricey than the average Prosecco but still very much worth it. This would be your classic ”a lot of wine for the money”.

RT: Sounds like a great start to a dinner in Brennan’s. I’m sure they hold some great reds as well? Something to go with the cane syrup-braised beef cheeks or the truffle venison on the menu?

TJ: They sure do! I’d go for something extra fun – a magnum bottle! Like I said before the list is very long, and so the selection of magnum bottles is big as well. Let’s drink something more classic next, the magnum bottle of the 2004 Château La Lagune Haut-Médoc, a third growth in Bordeaux.

RT: Great choice, a very good winery and of course extra delicious in a big bottle… I was hoping we could end the evening on a sweet note, since Brennan’s is known for having created the dessert Bananas Foster in the early 50’s. It’s a sweet serving of bananas in a sauce with dark rhum and brown sugar that comes with vanilla ice cream. What dessert wine would you pair with this?

TJ: I’m pretty sure it’s almost mandatory to end an evening in Brennans’s with Bananas Foster! I would want something to drink with enough fruitiness to balance the sweetness from the banana but also something caramelized from longer ageing to match the brown sugar. My pick would be the 2013 Castello di Volpaia Vinsanto di Chianti Classico. Very sweet as Vinsanto is made from raisined grapes, but with notes of sweet spices and caramel as it’s almost 10 years old.

RT: I’m sure in the mood for something sweet after that description. Thank you, 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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