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About this Episode

Wine educator and certified sommelier Whitney Grant and Robert Tas explore the wine list of Don Angie, a Michelin-starred restaurant in East Village that serves a fusion of American, Italian, and Asian cuisine. Whitney provides excellent pairing suggestions with select menu items, explains why present-day Lambruscos should be given a second chance, and recommends a natural orange wine on the list.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Vinous Obscura Fiano Blend, Willamette Valley
  • 2017 Harlan Estate from Oakville, California
  • Montanari, 'Opera' Lambrusco di Modena Secco
Transcript: Don Angie

Don Angie

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 Whitney Grant, wine educator and certified sommelier.

Hello Whitney, it’s great to have you back on with CorkRules.

WG: Hi Robert! Thanks for having me! I’m excited to share these wine selections with you and the CorkRules listeners.

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 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.

RT: Today we are talking about Don Angie. Don Angie located in the West Village is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving American-inspired Italian classics with Asian elements incorporated into the menu as well.   

Whitney I can’t wait to hear what do you think of this wine list?

WG: Robert I am super excited to chat with you today about the wines here. Now if you are on foodie Tik Tok like me, you know there are a few items on this menu that have gone viral. I think it might be fun to start off today with some wine pairings for those popular dishes.

RT: Sounds fun! For those that aren’t familiar with the Don Angie menu which items do you have pairings for?

WG: There is so much good food here but let's start with the chrysanthemum salad and stuffed garlic bread. For these starters, I think I nice crisp bottle of Sauvignon blanc would be excellent for the table to enjoy with the starters.

If you’d like to enjoy a glass the Silvio Carta Vermentino would be a lovely accompaniment. The Vermentino will be light with well-rounded mineral and floral characteristics with citrus and green fruit flavors with nice acidity to complement the dishes.

For the main dish I would highly recommend the lasagna for two. This deconstructed pinwheel lasagna has been seen on the today show is one of New York’s most popular lasagna dishes. For this is would recommend pairing with another Italian classic Chianti Classico made from the Sangiovese grape. The 2019 Monterinaldi Chianti Classico would be a great choice. This wine is a beautiful ruby color, with complex red fruit flavors, full-bodied and really pairs wonderfully with the lasagna.

 For wines by the glass with this dish, I would recommend Timbre 'Opening Act Pinot Noir from Monterey, California. The red fruit flavors and acidity complements the lasagna nicely.

RT: Now I’m hungry, those dishes and pairings sound good. Taking another look at the by-the-glass list, is there anything you would recommend trying?

WG: I would suggest giving one of the Lambrusco a try. Lambrusco today is not the same overly sweet cheap wines that gained a poor reputation decades ago. Producers in Italy are now producing quality wines that are dry or semi-dry and would definitely recommend giving it a try. It is served chilled, fruity, bubbly and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer night. At Don Angie I would recommend the Montanari, 'Opera' Lambrusco di Modena Secco. Expect juicy red fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry, nice acidity, and light tannin.

RT: Lambrusco today is certainly not what it was in the 1970s and 80s. What about a bottle of wine to impress my guests?

WG: On the “Don’s Secret Stash” list there are some incredible limited quantity selections. If it’s available and it’s in your budget you’ve got to go with the 2017 Harlan Estate from Oakville, California. These wines are super rare and popular with both critics and wine collections. This wine is a blend but promdomientanlty Cabernet Sauvignon, you can expect rich blackberry and current flavors, mineral characteristics of graphite and crushed stoned. This wine is full-bodied with integrated tannins.

RT: Harland Estate is a cult favorite, they produce great wines. So Whitney, I see there have a few natural wines specified on the menu, is there anything you’d recommend?

WG: Yes for those that are not familiar with natural wines, basically what that means is these wines are produced with minimal intervention. Typically you’ll see wild or natural yeast fermentations, meaning no commercial yeast inoculations are used, often the grapes are farmed organically or biodynamically, there are minimal or sometimes no sulfites added, and no artificial flavoring or coloring is used.

If you are looking to explore on of Don Angie’s natural wines I would recommend the Vinous Obscura Fiano Blend from my hometown of Willamette Valley, OR. 40% Fiano, 40% Semillon, and 20% Muscat. Now, this is an orange wine where these traditionally white wine grapes are fermented on the skin for 21 days giving it a beautiful orange color. With this wine, you can expect honey, chamomile and beeswax flavors.

RT: Whitney Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Don Angie's Wine List. I can’t wait to go try them myself.

WG: Thanks for having me Robert, this was an exciting list to review and I hope the listeners get the chance to enjoy some of these wines!

RT: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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