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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Carmine’s. This comfortable, low-key eatery offers a big menu of pizza and Italian classics. It’s the perfect place to kick back, relax and enjoy a meal with friends and family, and while the food is mostly Southern Italian in style, and the vibe here is relaxed, they offer a superior selection of wines from all around the world.  

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2016 Damilano Barolo 

  • 2020 Abbazia di Novacella Gruner Veltliner

  • 2018 Valipolicella-Ripasso, Sant' Antonio

Transcript: Carmine's

Carmine’s Las Vegas



RT): Hi Everyone, welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists so you can order wine with confidence.

I’m Robert Tas, along with Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, also known as Maria the Wine Blonde on Instagram. Welcome back Maria

MV: Hello Robert!  Great to be back.. Today we are checking out THE WINE LIST AT an Italian restaurant that’s always a good time.

RT: That’s right MARIA, today we are talking about the wine list at Carmine’s Las Vegas location. You can find Carmine’s in the Forum shops which connect to Caesar’s Palace. This 20,000-square-foot restaurant serves up hearty portions of Southern Italian favorites served family-style along with memorable-sized desserts. The restaurant also has 4 private dining rooms making it the perfect venue for ordering the very best wines on their list for serving at your next corporate event or special celebration. Maria, does the wine list match the portion sizes here?

MV: I am really liking this list… sometimes with chain-style restaurants, wine selections seem to be a little dumbed down… you know what I mean Robert?

RT: I Do... laughs

MV:  but not at Carmine's, and it’s not just Italian either… I mean sure… there are more Pinot grigio options than I’ve seen in a long time on a list… but the good thing is, it doesn’t stop there. We have Lambrusco, Franciacorta, German Riesling, Malbec from Argentina… cali favorites, and of course lots of lovely Italian reds to choose from!

RT: SOUNDS GREAT! So can you guide us through. Let’s start with wines by the glass give us your top picks on whites and Reds here.

MV: Okay great! If you are a PG fan, (and hey.. I remember when that was the only Italian white you would see on an Italian wine list by the glass) try the . Pinot Grigio, Tiefenbrunner, Alto Adige, Italy so way up NE in that upper corner of the boot you’ll find quite a bit of German Influence hence the name… this is going to be crisp with citrus and apple.. with a touch of almond, a great aperitif.

Or if you like a buttery style chard with some nice oak influence then the  Chalk Hill Chardonnay from RR Cali is for you.. 

RT: I’m holding out for the reds…

MV: yes, I know you are ….so red BTG I’m liking the Nero d’Avola from Sicily by Regaleali… that’s kind of fun to say, round tannins, juicy fruit profile remember the food at carmine's is southern Italian so going with the Sicilian wine absolutely makes sense for the food here

And not only do they offer these by the glass and the bottle but also the quartino.. one-third of a conventional 750-milliliter wine bottle, enough for two small glasses, or enough to carry one diner through a plate of pasta.

RT: Nice a little extra wine.. count me in.. so let’s have a peak at the bottles you recommend..

MV: There are some standouts on the bubbly list not to be missed that I mentioned quickly above… the Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Franciacorta I call the Champagne of Italy..the bottle itself is beautiful! Great price too… a value wine for sure.

And also the Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco from the Emilio Romagna (the area where we get parmigiana reggiano and also prosciutto… Lambrusco is making a come back.. it’s so fun to drink… this is great with a plate of cold antipasto ya know… Italian meats and cheese so give it whirl.  Lambrusco, Cleto Chiarli, Emilia Romagna

RT: I like both of these options.. what about some whites and reds that could be wallet-friendly?

MV: that’s easy. The Soave Classico, Pieropan is a great option for the food here. From stuffed artichokes to a bowl of hot mussels to Clams and spaghetti this wine made from the Garganega  from one of the best producers.. and from the classico part of the region is going to be perfect and fit with any budget.

My red wallet-friendly Barbera, Pio Cesare a very very old Barolo producer.. family owned

For more than 100 years and through generations … lots of ripe fruit here bolstered by complexity. Veal marsala or Chicken Saltimbocca

 With this lush wine.

If you want a denser wine the Valipolicella-Ripasso, Sant' Antonio 2018 this  estate wine from the Veneto is a great bet and also great price.. the grapes here have been passed through the must of Amarone grapes which is why it’s called Ripasso.. it means to repass…that give a riper denser fruit character, more tannins and makes it more interesting. A porterhouse steak could work with this wine.

RT: We should all drink more Valpolicella Ripasso!

Now say you’ve secured one of those private event rooms and you’re throwing a special party.. what are you pouring?

MV: If I plan on making an impression, then this is my line up… the Perrier Jouet grand Brut Champagne from Epernay France to great my guests…

Then on to a super interesting white ….get this!!!! They have a Gruner Veltliner from Italy… usually an Austrian variety… but this is so far up north in Italy that we're at the border of Austria so this makes sense.  Abbazia di Novacella Gruner Veltliner 2020 a quarter of this wine is fermented in large oak casks giving it a silky texture and lean finish to go with the baked green apple, peach and wet stone notes.

Then ….on to the 2 kings of Italy: Barolo and Brunello. Nebbiolo and Sangiovese

The Damilano Barolo 2016 which is the Nebbiolo grape is going to be Tar, leather dried roses and dried cherries with polished tannins and then Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino  2017 is going to be Tart Cherries, Tomato paste, Italian oregano and a powerful finish..  both of these clock in at about 14,5 % alc so robust for sure..  and tasting these side by side is really going to be a lot of fun for guests and will be excellent with Carmine’s red gravy dominated dishes

RT: Sounds like an event I’d like to be invited to... killer, line up Maria

RT: well that’s it for today's podcast episode on Carmine’s Italian restaurant in Las Vegas .. Thank you everyone for joining us today you can find more wine tips from Maria on Instagram @Mariathewineblonde. Remember the only rule in wine is “drink what you LOVE”.

MV: Have a favorite wine List? Let us review it here. Send us your requests at info@CorkRules.com You can find previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform and on

The CorkRules website. Be sure to follow @CorkRules on Instagram for episode and app updates. Prices and selections subject to change, please drink responsibly.






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