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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore a wonderful selection of wine at the  Italian trattoria Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse, a small restaurant big on ambiance and authentic Italian cuisine. Their wine list has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and features a number of standout selections which Michaela reviews and recommends Super Tuscans, little-known value wines, and a few special bottles for those who want to indulge in 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2017 Sor Ugo, Ala Vecchia, Tuscany

  • 2020 Pipoli, Vigneti del Vulture Blanc, Southern Italy

  • 2017 Nails Margreid, Schiava, Alto Adige


Transcript: Buca


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 list’s 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. So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

RT: Today we are talking about Buca’s. Located in Harwich, MA, this Italian trattoria will transport you to Northern Italy with fresh, homemade pastas, and classic Italian cuisine.

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

MQ: You will notice Buca’s is mentioned frequently in the Best Of section of Cape Cod Life, and well worth it. Their wine list has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and features a number of standout selections. I hope you enjoy today’s recommendations.

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

MQ: The first that caught my eye was the 2020 Boccadigabbia Le Grande from the Marche in Italy. The white grape in this wine is 100% Ribona, is medium-bodied, and lightly oaked. This rich, white wine showcases ripe pear, green apple, melon, and a mineral finish with notes of almond. A perfect companion to creamy pasta.

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

MQ: The next stand out wine is a beautiful, highly rated Bordeaux blend from Italy. The 2017 Sor Ugo, Ala Vecchia from Tuscany, specifically Bolgheri. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and petit verdot, this full-bodied red features aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, spice, nutmeg, and a hint of lavender. This is the bold red to consider for your rich pastas and proteins.

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

MQ: Definitely a must-try is the 2017 Il Borro Toscana. This Super Tuscan, which is a term used for such blends consisting of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon, is organic and has received a 95-point rating from James Suckling and Robert Parker. This red stands out for its incredible spice. You have ripe blackberries, cassis, minerality, soft tannins, and notes of cocoa and a touch of chili powder on the finish. Pair this wine with any rich pasta and 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: If the previous reds are a bit rich for your palate, then consider the 2020 Pipoli, Vigneti del Vulture Blanc. This is a unique white blend of Greco and Fiano grapes from the Basilicata region of Southern Italy that features aromas of white flowers, with flavors of citrus and melon with a mineral finish. This wine is a perfect aperitif, or to pair with salads and lighter fare.

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: When in search of a quality/value Italian white wine, I always look for a Grillo. The 2020 Cantine Colosi Grillo from Southern Italy fits the bill. This light, dry white wine features grapefruit, pear, and melon, along with bright acidity, minerality, and that classic almond/nutty finish. The Grillo grape is a fantastic alternative for Sauvignon Blanc fans. DO pair this wine with cheese and shellfish.

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

MQ: Another unique Italian grape varietal of great quality and value is the 2017 Nails Margreid, Schiava from Alto Adige. I am most familiar with Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige, so this red grape jumped out at me. Schiava is a medium-bodied, red grape that produces well-balanced wines featuring raspberries, and cranberries, along with earth, spice, and a note of vanilla on the finish, as this wine ages in French oak. Certainly a crowd pleaser and a companion to pasta and richly sauced proteins.

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

MQ: Robert and I regularly discuss our fondness for this style of wine. One to consider for a special occasion would be the 2017 Allegrini, Amarone della Valpolicella located in the Veneto. Grapes used within this region spend additional time drying out before production resulting in the following classic flavors. This bold, full bodied red wine is 100% Corvina and showcases rich aromas and flavors of dried plumb, ripe blackberries, smoke, tobacco, and notes of coca on the finish and will certainly stand up to any and all rich dishes on the menu.

RT: Michaela, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Buca’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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