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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Grant Wood joins Robert Tas in this episode of CorkRules where they review the wine list of Casa Lever on Park Avenue, New York City.  Casa Lever is an icon in NYC, and, as they say themselves, this restaurant is where Manhattan sophistication meets Italian classics. If you visit Casa Lever be prepared for an elegant dining experience and a carefully curated wine.  

Wines reviewed include:

  • Prosecco di Valdobbiadene “Cartizze” by Villa Sandi in the Italian region of the Veneto near Venice
  • 2017 Pinot Bianco “Volberg” by Terlano
  • 2017 Lytton Springs, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Carignane field blend by Ridge
Transcript: Casa Lever

Casa Lever

RT: Hello and Welcome back to another episode with CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grant Wood, Wine Educator and Certified Sommelier. Hello Grant, it’s great to have you join our CorkRules family!

GW: Hey Robert, I’m so happy to be here with you and talk about my first list review for this pod.

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.

RT: So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

So Grant - Today we are talking about the wine list at Casa Lever on Park Ave in NYC. This Italian restaurant offers a multitude of dishes both land and sea with a wine list to match its culinary adventures.

Grant, I’m excited to hear what you think of their list?

GW: At Casa Lever, if you’re looking to kick things off with a cocktail or glass of wine, I must say that the “Winter Garden” cocktail featuring Boodles Gin and Italicus Bergamot Liquor would be a refreshing start to break the ice and get settled into your dining experience. Otherwise, I’d reach for a glass of the 2019 Roero Arneis by Bruno Giacosa that’s offered by the glass and be an ideal companion for the Crudo on their menu.

If you’re anything like me and love to celebrate the start of your evening with bubbles, there is much to choose from if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or even just toast to loved ones on a Tuesday evening.

RT: I like your starting point, now what if I’m on a budget and looking to find some value wines?

GW: If you’re looking for a bottle that is easy on the budget but over-delivers on sublime enjoyment, then I would encourage you to order the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene “Cartizze” by Villa Sandi in the Italian region of the Veneto near Venice. These are the best sparkling wines coming from the increasingly popular region of Prosecco made from the Glera grape variety. This region offers fresh, easy-going, sparkling wines that celebrate life with verve that I wish to instill in my own life.

RT” Grant is Processo Champagne?

GW: explain sparkling, prosecco, cava, etc.

RT: Thanks for the primer. Very helpful. Let’s pivot back to our list, Casa Lever is a pretty special place. What if I have a special celebration and I want to go up a notch where would you take us?

GW: For those that wish to mark a special milestone or toast to something grander in life, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider Krug’s brut “Grande Reserve” multi-vintage Champagne which admittedly is a true favorite of mine. I’ve marked many milestones in my own life with this wine and it always delivers.

RT: What about white?

GW: Shifting gears to whites on their list that would marry well with a lot of Casa Lever’s starting dishes. My eyes were immediately drawn to 2017 Pinot Bianco “Volberg” by Terlano, one of my favorite producers from northeastern Italy. Their fresh yet textural whites really engage the palate and match up well with a variety of dishes. Truly, not to be missed.

RT: Sweet what about reds?

GW: Moving on to reds…being an Italian-focused menu, you must consider the great wines of Italy. If you are looking to splurge, then I must point out the 2000 Barolo by Roberto Voerzio from the sub-region of Brunate in northwestern Italy. This Nebbiolo with 20+ years of age is sure to provide tension and power to match up with fatty and savory dishes on their list. This is a classic example of the powerful wines that will elevate any dining experience.

RT: Nebbiolo grapes are terrific. But not super well known, what could I compare it to?

GW: …….

RT: Thanks. Super helpful. What else caught your eye?

If you are looking for an alternative table red from the “new world” that is sure to tick a lot of boxes regarding pairing then you must consider the 2017 Lytton Springs, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Carignane field blend by Ridge in Sonoma’s Dry Creek AVA. Ridge is a pivotal institution that has been at the vanguard of California’s historic vineyard preservation in the early years of the revitalization of my home state's wine industry post-prohibition. These wines exhibit fresh and savory components that merry well with the Mediterranean culinary fare that parts of both Italy and California share. So why shouldn’t the wines equally merit such unity?

RT: Any final thoughts on the list?

GW: Lastly, I can’t finish a special meal without an after-dinner elixir to settle one’s appetite and bring the evening to a close. Thankfully, Casa Lever has shared this ideal and has several dessert wines and spirits to evoke one’s appetite for the last word. For me, I cannot resist the medicinal comfort of a small glass of Montenegro, an herbal elixir of satiating delight that brings joy to any evening regardless of the occasion.

RT: Now that’s a fabulous way to end a spectacular meal.

Grant, great job today!  Thank you for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Casa Lever’s wine list. I can’t wait to go and try your suggestions 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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