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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier and Robert Tas explore the wine list at Cowboy Star in San Diego’s East Village. This steakhouse and butcher shop sources ethically-raised, meat and seafood. They have a stellar wine list and a reputation to match. From bold, tannic reds to crisp, light whites, champagne that will definitely tickle the taste buds,  and a few surprises in between, Grace identifies the bottles on the list that will please the most discerning palate, including a Margaux from Bordeaux.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Shea Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

  • 2020 Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Napa

  • 2017 Joseph Swan from the Russian River Valley

Transcript: Cowboy Star

Cowboy Star

RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where, in each episode, we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Hey Robert happy to be here as always

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 intimating, 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. Today we’re reviewing one of San Diego’s best steak houses, Cowboy Star. Grace, you said you recently dined there?

GH: Oh, I sure did Robert! I went there after a networking event and boy did it blow me away. We had a 2002 Chateau Margaux which was nearly perfect, and followed that up with a 2011 Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserve. It was a killer evening!

RT: Oh, yum those both sound amazing. Wish I was there!   

GH: You’re always there in spirit Robert!

RT: Hahaha I love it Grace. So we already know Cowboy Star has some heavy hitters. Should we dive into the rest of the list?

GH: Let’s do it! If you wanted to start with bubbles, they’ve got some classic champagne houses. The Nicolas Fueillant always hits the spot, or they also have a Paul Bara Grand Reserva which would be delish.

RT: Oh those are two great choices. How are they looking for white selections?

GH: They’ve got a small but nice selection of whites! Since they’re a steak houses, there’s a lot of emphasis on red wine. But for my light white wine drinkers, you could go with the 2019 Coteline Sancerre or the 2018 jj Vincent Pouilly Fusse. And if you wanted something a little more rich, they’ve got a 2018 Chassagne Montrachet from Domaine Lamy Pillot, and for my California Chardonnay drinkers, the 2019 Dumol from Russian River Valley

RT: Yum those are some classic choices. But now let’s get to the good stuff. What are you red selections Miss Hood?

GH: Starting with the lighter styles, I would do either the 2018 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, or if you wanted a California pinot, the 2017 Joseph Swan from the Russian River Valley

RT: I love your dedication to pinot noir Grace hahah how about something medium bodied?

GH: Exactly the direction I was thinking Robert. Syrah and Merlot are two of my favorite reds, and Cowboy star has some excellent choices for both! You could do a 2019 Syrah from Melville which is one of my favorite central coast producers, and then for merlot they a 2019 Maycamas which is another one of my cali faves. Oh and they also have a 2016 Muga from Rijoa which is another good favorite!

RT: Man, they’re really catering to the Grace Hood palate it seems hahah  Now have we come to the main event? Big bold tannic reds?

GH: Drumroll please hahaha starting with Bordeaux, I would grab the 2009 Chateau Brane Contenac from Margaux, and then for a Napa Cabernet, they have a 2007 Chateau Montelena.

RT: I’ll take one of each thank you hahah So how about some bottles for our friends on a budget?

GH: I got you! For an affordable white, I would do the 2020 Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc from Napa. And for wallet-friendly red, the 2020 Shea Estate Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley.

RT : Solid picks Grace. But how about if we’re trying to impress a date or celebrating a special occasion? I’m sure cowboy star has some heavy hitters on the list.

GH: Without a doubt Robert! And my special occasion picks would definitely be the Grand Kuvee Krug champagne, and for a red – gonna have to be the 2012 Harlan estate

RT: Great Choices as always Grace, thank you so much for helping us navigate the wine list at Cowboy Star.  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. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.

Thank you.






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