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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas talk about Spanish wine (and a little sherry) at Jaleo by Jose Andres. Jaleo is all about the spirit and flavors of Spain. They provide an authentic Spanish culinary experience and showcase the rich regional diversity of Spanish cuisine, and, of course – Spanish wine. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Ulacia Txakolina, Hondarrabi Zuri 

  • 2020 Estenas Vera de Estenas, Bobal, Utiel y Requena

  • 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva López de Heredia

Transcript: Jaleo by Jose Andres

Jaleo by Jose Andres

RT): Hi Everyone, welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists so you can order wine with confidence!

I’m 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! Today we are talking pans of paella and Spanish Vinho at Jaleo!

RT: This is going to be incredibly helpful for our listeners Maria!

RT: Step into the brightly colored Jaleo restaurant in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and you’ll immediately feel the essence of Spain brought to life. Culinary mastermind José Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup have infused authentic Spanish flavors into this tapas-style restaurant. The wine list has been curated to perfectly complement the stacks of vibrant plates at your table. Maria, Andalé! …let’s dig in…

MV: Robert, This is such an incredible list .. it puts Spanish wines front and center as they make up 98% of the list… broken down into regions and then designated growing areas. At the very end of the list you WILL find a heading called  Global Wines where they have a small selection of champagnes and some Cali predictables.. but this is the place you want to utilize the sommelier, get some suggestions and try some interesting Spanish wines! After all, the food menu is Spanish tapas so they go hand in hand.

RT: Let’s do it… be our Somm Maria and start us off with some Spanish Vino by the glass.

MV: Sure thing… and guess what all the wines BTG are Spanish – so here’s your chance to experiment.  So Amazing to see this – it makes me so happy.

And what really excites me is that they have sherry by the glass. Sherry is a fortified wine that can be made in a range of styles. This particular one is a great way to start your meal.

The Manzanilla La Cigarrera, made from the Palomino Fino grape this a lighter-style sherry…it has this oxidized nuttiness plus citrus and salinity and is great with a handful of Marcona almonds… or some manchego. It’s a dry wine no sweetness here at all.. and remember it’s fortified so higher alcohol so be sure to eat something with it... it’s meant to go with snacks.

RT: You don’t see sherry often on menus do you?

MV: NOOOO You don’t , but trust me when we were in Seville Spain we drank a ton of it... it’s a THANG there. You get to really appreciate it. Okay, I also want to recommend some whites and reds…I don’t want to run out of time here.

The  El Zarzal Emilio Moro, Godello – I love the godello.grape. Bierzo 2019 citrus creamy notes, a real pleasure to drink..  this is my white pick but honestly, they are so many good options and reasonably priced I also like the Ulacia Txakolina, Hondarrabi Zuri – 2020 this may be hard to pronounce but easy to drink .. a touch of effervescence here…


For reds check out the Estenas Vera de Estenas, Bobal 2020- Utiel y Requena  which is to the east of Madrid So bobal is the grape I actually opened a bottle of bobal but A different producer the other night and my husband who never had it, really liked it. THIS ONE IS really old vines dark fruits and purple floral notes as well.. rounded tannins.. traditionally pairs with paella of which they have quite a few variations of on the menu. 

Then Under the heading premier wines by the glass try the Psi Dominio de Pingus, Tempranillo 2019 3oz 16 6oz 32 usually I only ever see this wine by the bottle so here’s your chance to try it… it’s a big wine!

RT Great wow... I’m really digging these wines.. I’m definitely putting this restaurant on my Vegas list!  Okay, we need you to help us find some incredible value wines by the bottle.. what do you suggest?

MV: Actually this is easy as Spain is known for making quality wine at a fair price.

Let’s see what’s catching my eye… oooohhhh… the

Oro de Castilla Hermanos de Villar, Verdejo 2020 If you like Sancerre sauvignon Blanc in general, you’ll like Verdejo. It has that bright zippy citrus profile plus some herbal notes and lots of minerality on the finish. If you’re ordering gazpacho, ensalada verde, or anything fried.. this is your wine.

For red, check out the Arenisca Manuel Cantalapiedra, Tinta de Toro 2019 Tinto de Toro is tempranillo and so if you like riojas you’ll like this wine. it’s made in such a way that the tannins are going to be a little less aggressive… I’’m thinking to pair this with the grilled chorizo sausage dish.
RT: This menu! Wow! Okay we have decided to sit at the chef’s counter and splurge on all the top dishes… which wines do you recommend?

MV: nice I’ve got a bigger budget to work with you're saying! LOL!


MV: Then in that case.. I’ll steer you towards the Viña Tondonia Reserva López de Heredia, 2010 A white rioja! and I know what you’re thinking wait what 2010???? But yes this wine is held until the winemaker feels it is ready, it was only bottled in Nov of 2018! This wine is so complex.. you have to be ready to sit with this wine and understand it.. made up of mostly the Viura grape, candied citrus, honeysuckle, and almond skin.. this is a rich golden color... unlike anything you have ever had.

And reds I can’t pick just one so my 2 top favs...


The  Escalada do Bibei Alberto Orte, Mencía Blend

Just over 2,000 bottles of this rare wine were made for the world! Mencia, Merenzao and Brancellao. It’s going to have some similarities to PN. Light on its feet with lots of floral notes, strawberry and cranberry fruits and lots of spice notes. Some Iberico Pork (the wagyu of pork ) with this wine.

And one more if we have time... if you are into trying older vintages the 904 Gran Reserva La Rioja Alta, tempranillo… they have several older vintages of this famous Rioja… 95, 2001 and 2005 all really good vintages for the region.

RT: That would be fun to to all 3 and taste them side by side

MV: A dream for me!

RT:  Well that’s a wrap… Thank you Maria for finding us some gems on the wine list at Jaleo Las Vegas in the cosmopolitan. 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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