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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, certified sommelier and wine educator, joins host Robert Tas to navigate the wine list of Carbone, an Italian American restaurant that brings both cultures together over food and wine. 

Walks us through many wine regions of Italy to identify little-known and rare grapes that are a must-try and the vineyards that are bio-dynamic. She identifies the value wines and special night bottles on the list and, since this restaurant is a fabulous bridge between Italian and American cuisine, Maria suggests stellar bottles from both Italian and U.S. producers and explains exactly what a Super Tuscan is and why it is so darn super. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • The Eisele Vineyard Altagrácia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018
  • Castello dei Rampolla 2019, a Chianti Classico
  • Super Tuscan Marchesi Antinori "Tignanello", 2018
Transcript: Carbone

Carbone NYC 2022

RT: Hello and welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists!

I’m, Robert Tas along with Maria Valetta, certified Sommelier and wine educator,

Hello Maria

MV: Hi Robert. I’m looking forward to our wine list review today… It’s a restaurant I’m familiar with because I’ve been to their location here in Las Vegas, but the original is in your hometown of NYC 

RT: That’s right Maria, today we are talking about Carbone NYC and things are about to get saucy!

MV: I’m ready!

RT: Known for its HEFTY portions of SAUCY Italian-American favorites, served in a swanky setting, Carbone rightfully became a foodie destination the minute it opened its doors on Thompson street in 2013. Reservations are still incredibly tough to snag at this retro-refined, glamorous spot. Inside you’ll find unique artwork by Vito Schnabel, server uniforms designed by Zac Posen, and a tiled floor inspired by The Godfather Movie !!!! , And the food… ,,, will make you want to Mangia Mangia!

Maria I can’t wait to see what you think of their extensive wine list.

MV: I really love how well Carbone does elevate Italian-American cuisine..- it reminds me of the way I grew up and the kind of food we ate… especially for our early Sunday suppers. I have to say,  This list has all the top Italian hits…and I’m not talking about Louis Prima,

RT: Although you’ll hear his songs in the background for sure

MV: Oh Yes it def that kind of place.. but I was talking about the Italian wine Top Producers! From Bruno Giacosa my favorite producer in the NW of Italy in Piedmont to Fontodi in Tuscany… to Emidio Pepe in the eastern region of Abruzzo Who famously grows the Montepulciano grape. I want to drink it all. But they also have an excellent collection of high-end producers from America as well…

RT: Well that sure makes sense given it’s an Italian-American concept

MV: Right!

RT: So where should we begin, what would you order at Carbone

MV: Well after you have a cocktail to start,

MV: You should begin to peruse the menu for something to wash down all that red sauce… or gravy (which is what my Nana called it)

Carbone is a great place to go with a group of friends so I would order the Arnaldo Caprai (ca-Preye) Montefalco Sagrantino 'Collepiano'2012  (Magnum) For a magnum this is a great price, and you have plenty of wine to go around that way. Montefalco is a region in landlocked  Umbria that grows the indigenous  Sagrantino grape. Arnaldo basically brought this grape back to existence it’s a grape that needs a lot of age to simmer the tannins, so the 2012 is going to feel integrated, with supple tannins loads of baked black cherries and plums and an herbal anise, long-lasting finish.

RT: Sounds Complex and love that it’s a magnum giving you access to 2 full bottles of wine for the table

MV: Plus it’s fun to try these indigenous Italian grapes!

RT: sounds like a good value too… and other value wines you would recommend? Say it’s date night…but it’s a Monday and I’m not trying to blow my weekly budget yet?


MV: I’m going to stick with Italian because there are a lot more options for the price point you're looking for. Order the

Castello dei Rampolla 2019, a Chianti Classico, mostly comprised of the Sangiovese grape. AND the key word here is Classico (it’s from the original most central, highly prized part of the chianti region in Tuscany). I recently had a 2009 Rampolla and wow was it epic…..all this tomato paste, Chocolate, and some dried oregano were just shining through the concentrated cherry flavors.  Another plus, this winery uses biodynamic methods! Pair it with the Spicy rigatoni vodka!

RT: And what about that Friday Date night Wine… I want to kick the weekend off right:

MV: I’m going to give you two wines to splurge on… an Italian and an American to stick with the restaurant theme!!

My Italian Pick is the Super Tuscan Marchesi Antinori 'Tignanello', 2018 (they also have a 2015 for $50 more if you want a little more age).

 Super Tuscans are always impressive and by Super Tuscan, I mean wines made in Italy in the region of Tuscany that intentionally includes non-Italian grape varietals… typically producers will use cabernet sauvignon or Cab Franc or Merlot and/or Syrah. And some are pricier than others, but the “Tigi” (which was the first super Tuscan wine produced) is actually not insanely priced here- I just opened a bottle of 2018 recently and while it’s still young, it’s not awkward by any means. A little decanting and it shows a lovely chewiness and a rich fruit character this wine is mostly Sangiovese but beefed up with some Cab Sauvignon and a dash of Cab Franc.

RT: And your American Pic?

At the same price point as the Tigi, is The Eisele Vineyard Altagrácia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018- it’s an accessible wine from a legendary vineyard in napa Cali, This is going to be punchy no doubt, but the black currant, wild blueberries, and black pepper are sure to win you over especially when paired with one of their charcoal cooked steaks! So Centanni!

RT: Saluti! Well, that’s all we have time for on today’s episode…thank you Maria for helping us navigate Carbone’s wine list.  Thank you  EVERYONE for joining us here on CorkRules, Remember the only rule in wine is “Drink what you LOVE”.

MV: Have a favorite wine List? Let us review it here on CorkRules. Send us your requests at info@corkrules.com and remember to Check out all our episodes on CorkRules.com.



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