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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Craftsteak by top chef personality and James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Colicchio. Maria offers excellent pairing suggestions to tantalize your palate and, of course, points out the best bottles on the list. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 William Févre, Champs Royaux, Chablis

  • 2021 Four Graces Willamette Valley, Oregon

  • 2017 Chateau de Pez , St. Estephe, Bordeaux

Transcript: Craftsteak

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

I’m Robert Tas, along with Maria Valetta, Wine Educator, and Certified Sommelier, also known as Maria the Wine Blonde. Welcome back Maria

MV: Hello Robert! There’s no shortage of steakhouses here in Vegas.. and today we have another great one!

RT: Great! Steak and wine is what’s it’s all about Maria, but before we get started, let’s talk about CorkRules. CorkRules was created to help you navigate the wine list so you will always love the wine you drink. With CorkRules in hand, you can confidently and easily make selections from the wine list based on your wine preferences of flavor, style, region, and even price point. Plus, you can check out which wines your friends loved and try them for yourself. So have a listen as our top Sommeliers help you find those hidden gems, value wines, and those special celebration-worthy bottles.

Today we are talking about Craftsteak in the MGM Grand, Hotel and Casino and pretty much, the name says it all.. expertly crafted food and superior steaks served front and Center. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has a passion for creating menus that appeal to all lovers of food: from seasonal additions to the signature menu to a comprehensive award-winning wine list, Craftsteak promises a meal bursting with flavor! So how do the wine options look to you, Maria?

MV: Pretty Crafty! Hahah I can see why this list has received so much recognition. They have one of the biggest selections of half-bottles I have seen in Vegas so far. And half bottles are great because you can have more options while spending less and still keep your wits about you .. and if you’re the opposite and want to make sure you and your guests have more than enough to go around then their expansive selection of Large-format bottles are going to be very attractive. They also have some fun spirit flights (I don’t see that often) and I love how they label the dessert wine section as Liquid Dessert… something I’m very fond of!

RT: Me too, I also like to drink my dessert… well let's save some room for that at the end of the meal…So what are your favorite selections for wines by the glass to get us off to the right start?


MV: I like the idea of starting with the William Févre, Champs Royaux, Chablis, 2019, I think a nice Chablis from a great producer like this is a great start especially if you're going to order from the raw bar part of the menu like the seafood tower the shrimp cocktail or the oysters, Chablis is going to go fabulous with all of those options and this is a really good quality one.

now if you're sticking with the meatier starters on the menu like the pork belly with braised red cabbage or the hand-cut Wagyu tartar then the 2021 Four Graces Willamette Valley Oregon pinot noir is going to be my lighter-bodied red option and if you want something that's going to carry you through the meal and go with your steak then the Corazon Del Sol 2019 Malbec from Mendoza Argentina is going to be a great bet. Now IF you want to go higher-end they have some top selections by the glass from some super fabulous producers, one I love from Bordeaux, the Chateau de Pez 2017 from St. Estephe on the left bank of Bordeaux.

RT: wow that’s great they offer THAT by the glass, I would definitely pay a little more for access to special by the glass. Speaking of access to more options.. what ARE  your favorites of those half bottles?

MV: Standouts for me are the Lopez de heredia vina tondonia reserva 2008 from Spain, that's gonna be awesome, and also the Tamber Bey Rabicano Deax Chevaux Vineyard 2015 Bordeaux style blend. This full-bodied single-vineyard beauty is going to knock you out of your chair.. especially for that great price.

RT: So speaking of price, How about we jump into a few more stand-out value bottles on this long list, can you help us navigate here?
MV: sure thing, SO since we are talking about a steakhouse I think focusing on some great values in the red category is a great place to start as I am eyeing that 24-hour braised short rib with Cipollini onions … and with that, the Mending Wall 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley - this winery pulls from vineyards all over Napa Valley usually sourced from small family-owned producers and that's what makes it a little bit more affordable but this is still a bold powerful wine. Another great option would be the Del Dotto Cave blend 2020 also from Napa Valley, a red blend, we actually have a friend who literally only only only drinks Del Dotto wines because he loves them so much. And then a great option from the old world is the Blason d’Issan 2015 the second label of the famous third-growth wine Chateau d’Issan from Margaux in Bordeaux.

RT: I love those second labels… so much more affordable while still having tremendous quality.

MV: Agree and they so have the Chateau d’Issan the 2016 vintage should your date want to spoil you.

RT: EVERYONE likes to be spoiled a bit… what are your other favorites on the high-end here.

MV: well the other menu item that’s calling my name is the Braised Lobster with lobster butter so a special white wine would be lovely, a nice rich round white like the Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne 2016, this coveted Grand Cru White Burgundy is a spectacular Chardonnay… I had the 2018 the other week and wow did it impress everyone at the table.  All this smokiness, baked pineapple, delicate buttery notes… this and that lobster butter oh yeah!

RT: that is the crème de la crème… so you have a red on par to recommend?

MV: The Bodega Numanthia Termanthia 2010.. breakaway from the cabernet and try something thrilling! This tempranillo with this much age in it is going to be mysterious and complex and ever-changing in the glass… it may just steal the show!

RT: Spanish wine and steak is a really good match that is not seen often enough! I would have the Domestic Wagyu NY Strip with that Vino Tinto!

But wait before we run out of time Maria, tell us your liquid dessert choice.

MV: Almost forgot… after dinner, you’ll find me sipping some Far Niente Dolce from Napa… served by the glass or the half bottle, The name of this sweet liquid golden-hued late-harvest dessert wine made from Semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes translates from Italian to the “sweetness of doing nothing”… basically it means …indulging in blissful relaxation… I can really get on board with that.


RT: I sure could too! … well thank you Maria for finding us some fabulous gems on the wine list at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at MGM Grand 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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