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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas head south to Los Angeles where they review the wine list at Culina, a casual, and surprisingly affordable, neighborhood restaurant. Culina has been recognized as one of Wine Spectator’s “Best Award of Excellence” in 2018 and 2020, and one of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2011 by Wine Enthusiast magazine, and the wine list reveals why. It’s approachable, represents many regions, and offers a variety of price points to suit all budgets.

Wines reviewed include:

• 2016 Isole e Olena Chardonnay

• 2009 Brunello di Montalcino from Paradisone

• 2013 Barbera d’Asti from Scarpa

Transcript: Culina


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: Bueno serra Roberto!

RT: Bongiorno Grace! Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules.

We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists 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. Alright Grace – we’re heading back to everyone’s favorite region – Italy, with the Beverly hills eatery, Culina. Where shall we start?

GH: Well I mean….who doesn’t love Italian food?? Just one look at this menu and I was picturing myself in a fabulous outfit with a glass of wine off the Amalfi coast.

RT: If you can dream it, you can do it!

GH: Thanks for believing in me, Robert. Culina’s wine list is fairly approachable! Lots of regions and styles represented, different price points as well. Something for everyone here.

RT: Shall we get right to it? Bubbles to start?

GH: Italian bubbles to start? Bellissima! They have a Zardetto Sparkling Rose which everyone would enjoy. Or if you’re thinking champagne, they’ve got a 2007 Vilmart and Cie which would be divine

RT: Bueno senorina. How about some whites for all that beautiful Italian seafood?

GH: Lighter style Italian white? I would go with the Terlano Pinot Bianco. Feeling a richer Italian white? The 2016 Isole e Olena Chardonnay from Tuscany would do the trick

RT: Looking up plane tickets right now hahah now we know the Italians love their red wine.

GH: Oh do they ever Robert? Culina has a gorgeous selection of Barolos which are my personal favorite Italian red. And it was hard to pick one from b/c they have a really stellar selection, but I think this 2006 from Paolo Scavino would hit the spot

RT: Oh hello nebbiolo! 

GH: Exactly! Hahah but if Piedmont isn’t your thing. Let’s head south to Tuscany and go with this 2009 Brunello di Montalcino from Paradisone.

RT: Are you the queeno of Montalcino?


GH: I’m more the princess of pinot haha

RT: Now how about some value bottles for our friends who are bougie on a budget?

GH: Affordable white – thinking this 2018 Fruilano from Scarbolo. And for red? They’ve got a 2013 Barbera d’Asti from Scarpa.

RT: Delicious. What about some go big or go home bottles?

GH: Do what the rappers do and pop some cristal! They’ve got a 2006 Brut Rose from Cristal that would be amazing. And if we’re going full send on a red, going to have to be this 2009 Costa Russi Barolo from Gaja.

RT: I love it. Grace, thank you so much for helping us navigate the list at Culina. 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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