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About this Episode

Wine consultant and sommelier Camila Alvarez joins Robert Tas to demystify the wine list at Casa Mono, a Michelin-star Spanish restaurant with an entirely Spanish wine list. Camila takes us through the wine regions of Spain from Galicia to Canarias and introduces the big wines of Alvaro Palacios to small producers. This is a great way to become familiar with Spanish wines from every region.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Sotorrondero Cuvee from Jimenez-Landi
  • La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva, 2010
  • Enric Soler “Espenyalluchs,” 2017
Transcript: Casa Mono

Casa Mono

RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Camila Alvarez, wine sommelier and consultant.

Bonjour Camila, it’s great to have you join our CorkRules Family from Paris!

CA: Hello 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 wine lists can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, 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.

RT: Today we are talking about Casamono New York….is a Michelin star Spanish restaurant close to Union Square.

It has a great energy and wine list to match.

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

CA: Casa mono has a totally Spanish wine list from Galicia to Canarias, passing through the big wines of Alvaro Palacios to small producers. If you don’t know Spain well, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the wine and every region.

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

CA: Something that caught my attention is that they have some appellations of wines that were in the process of disappearing. Like Sierra de Gredos and Méntrida.

The wines of Jimenez Landi, especially the Sotorrondero Cuvee, express the true expression of Spanish Grenache and Syrah, with subtle aromas of red fruits and blackberries. Elegant and fresh with an excellent balance between price and quality, to discover if you already know a little about the wines of Spain.

RT: Ooohh those sound great.

So, Camila, their list seems to have lots of ways we could go but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

CA: A classic wine from La Rioja Alta is a must try like the wine “La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva 2010”. 89% of Tempranillo, and 11 % Graciano. This wine is made from the oldest vineyards of the winery, and this is a classic from Rioja with black and plumy flavors, and balsamic notes of Tabaco due to the oak aging. Very good for a classic meat dish or to finish a dinner.


RT: So, this list has so many great choices, what other wines would you suggest for our second or third course?


CA: I would like to suggest a wine that is very particular, Enric Soler “Espenyalluchs” 2017 from Penedes, the grape variety Xarel-lo, is very aromatic herbal and some touch of oak. Long aging potential. Another option is a red wine from Priorat appellation, Clos Pissarra “La Vinyeta” 2009 made by two grape varieties Carinena and Garnacha.

Carinena is high in tannins, acid and color, a great grape variety for blends. Dark and black fruits, pepper and licorice.

RT: Ooh, Terrific. Camila, speaking of price, sometimes people have a budget in mind. Any other great value wines you’d point us to? 

CA: In the Basque country we can find great wines with a good quality for the price. Gaintza 2018 from Euskadi appellation is a blend of 85% Hondarrabi Zuri and Gros Manseng, it is a young wine with fresh aromas and herbal notes with some hints of green apple, is a good wine for starters and seafood.

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

CA:  For a special occasion I would like to choose a Cava from Agusti Torello Mata “Kripta” Brut 2010. In Cava appellation we have Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo. A complex Cava with a great value for money. Soft bubbles, a low level of alcohol great for the summer and special occasions.


RT: Cava are always a good call for me, especially with seafood and Spanish food.  

CA: I 100 percent agree

RT: Camila Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Casamono’s wine list. I can’t wait to go back and try your great suggestions.  

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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