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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas chat about wines to pair with Latin food as they explore the wine list at Chica where Chef Lorena Garcia has melded the vibrant flavors from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico to provide a wholly unique dining experience and to ensure we choose the wine that pairs well with the hot spice, Maria offers pairing suggestions from a list that presents Latin wines from Spain, Argentina, and Chile in addition to wine from Europe and North America. For all chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon lovers who are ready to venture out of their comfort zone, Maria offers a few delicious alternatives that will expand your list of favorites. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Agro de Bazán Granbazán Etiqueta Verde Rias Baixas, Spain

  • 2019 Carmenère from Montes Alpha Colchagua Valley, Chile

  • 2018 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Mosel

Transcript: Chica

Chica Las Vegas, Venetian hotel and casino

Wine menu:



RT): Hi Everyone, welcome back to CorkRules! The wine APP & podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your FAVORITE restaurant wine lists.

I’m your host, 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 looks like our episode is all about Latin Food and wines to go with it today…

RT: That’s right … we are talking about Chica restaurant, the Las Vegas location along the restaurant row within the Venetian Resort and Casino. Chef Lorena Garcia has melded the vibrant flavors from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and more to build a menu that is robust and flavorful. There’s a lot of live-fire cooking going on in this kitchen, but can the wines stand up to the heat? Let’s find out Maria.

MV:: This place is always popping and I love that their list stays on theme and offers a nice selection of Latin wines with Spain, Argentina, and Chile well represented and varieties like Garnacha, Torrontes, Malbec and Carmenere making a splash!

RT: Well, that’s great to see… grapes we should all be exploring more often. Any fun grapes to try by the glass?

MV: yes, From Spain they have

Albariño – the Agro de Bazán Granbazán Etiqueta Verde Rias Baixas 2019

it amazes me that there are still quite a few people who have never had Albarino I love these wines they pair well with coastal foods like seafood so Ceviche or crudo with this wine for sure, and then from way up north in Argentina from the area of Salta they have the Amalaya Torrontés Blend – 2021 a very floral aromatic wine.. almost gewurztraminer-like but more acidity.


MV : For reds BTG again representing Spain, the Tempranillo grape the - Beronia Rioja Reserva. Lots of black plum fruit and some enticing cigar spice notes in this med-bodied sophisticated value wine.


And from Chile the Carmenère from Montes Alpha Colchagua Valley 2019 the grape has this nice jalapeno spice aroma to it for me and a deep purple color.

RT: I do think everyone needs to get out of the chardonnay and cabernet box sometimes.


MV: I agree so if you like those wines, they are all available by the bottle at reasonable prices, but I have a few other value wines by the bottle only that are worth checking out.


If you like to kick up the spice in your food then sometimes a little sweetness in the wine can balance out the heat, so then I would recommend the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Mosel 2018, lower alcohol so more residual sugar but it will soften the spice of food because of it. if mineral-driven and more dry is your game then you’ll prefer the DOMAINE Wachau Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Terrassen Wa c h a u  2 0 2 0 still going to be great with hot salsas.

RT: Is most of the food spicy here? Could we still opt for a red?

MV: Absolutely you could do red, and honestly a lot of the menu is not hot. Plenty of of latin cuisines can be very mild too. You could opt for the Prime Skirt Steak with Black garlic mole and , pair the bold and structured Puramun Co-Fermented Malbec /PV blend Uco Valley AR 2 0 1 3

RT That’s works for me, So What about stepping up our wine game to the super premium options.

MV: Then I have 3 great wines, a white and 2 reds.

The hard-to-find Aristos Duquesa d’A 2010 from the Cachapoal valley.

The aristos is all chardonnay from what's called the Burgundy area of Chile... I’d be curious to see how 2010 is holding up and if it really can hold a candle to the whites of Burgundy France... this barrel-fermented white matured in contact with the lees should still have Layers of ripe tropical fruit wrapped around a lemon meringue cream core.

Next up the The Dumol Jentoft Vineyard RRV 2019 is a bold Pinot.. I LOVE DUMOL insanely complex wines with all the cherry fruit that the RRV is known great with pork, chicken or salmon.

And than A beautiful bold blend from Chile:

The Vik from Viña Vik Winery in Colchagua Chile their top cuvee 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 13% Carmenere, DRIED plums and fig gastrique, tobacco smoke and a chocolate black pepper finish. Chica’s pepita-crusted Lamb rack with this bottle 100 percent. I hope to visit the winery someday. They also have an amazing hotel in the middle of the vines.

RT: Well, thank you Maria for talking Wine at Chica in Las Vegas with us, and thank you everyone, for joining us on another episode of CorkRules. Be sure to download the app from the Apple Appstore and start getting your personal restaurant wine recommendations directly to your phone. You can find more wine educational tips from Maria on Instagram @mariathewineblonde and on the CorkRules app.

MV: It’s here! The CorkRules App! Download it for free today from the app store so you can browse restaurant wine lists, connect with your friends, and start drinking wines you love. 

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








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