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About this Episode

Robert Tas and certified sommelier and wine educator Alexis Rogers explore the wine list of Kochi located in Hell’s Kitchen, this Korean-inspired restaurant offers a wine list that is mostly Franco-centric but also includes a few stand-out wines from Spain and Hungary.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Nicolas Joly “Coulee De Serrant” Savieneres
  • 2019 Muga Rosado from Rioja
  • 2017 Royal Tokaji Lare Harvest Furmint from Tokaji Hungary
Transcript: Kochi


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 Alexis Rogers, wine educator and restaurant sommelier

Hello Alexis, Welcome back to another episode!

AR: Hi Robert! Thanks for having me!

RT: Before we dive into the wine list at Kochi, a little bit about us. CorkRules was created to demystify and simplify ordering wine at restaurants - an experience that can be intimidating for most people.

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.

Today we are discussing Kochi. This Hell’s Kitchen eatery boasts an 8-course tasting menu of mostly skewered dishes (kochi means “skewer” in Korean) as well as other Korean-inspired menu items. Both menu and concept are inspired by the Korean Royal Court’s culinary traditions of smaller multi-course meals.

So, Alexis, tell us a little bit about the wine list at Kochi

AR: This wine list is very Franco-centric - which I love. It is basically organized into “ French” and Everywhere Else within the Grape Heading. But hey, credit where credit is due! One bottle in particular that I got super hyped about was the 2019 Nicolas Joly “Coulee De Serrant” Savieneres. Coulee de Serrant is a single vineyard from which a single producer makes wine - aka as a “monopole”. This particular vineyard has gained such recognition that it was awarded its own separate AOC within Sauvenieres with even stricter production regulations. It’s a magical parcel of land giving a famed producer incredible fruit. This highly aromatic wine made from 100% Chenin Blanc gives us notes of grapefruit, pear, honey, chamomile, fresh straw, and candied lemon. Also, look for the skin-contact version of this wine under the orange wine section!

RT : I think that, for a layman, French wine is the most difficult to comprehend and therefore order or buy.

AR: You're totally right. French wines are labeled by their Point of Origin - or AOC, so understanding French Wine law STARTS by memorizing which grapes are grown in which village. But even if you don't remember that Sancerre is Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, you WILL remember the electricity and grassy citrus-y flavors and that you loved it and that it paired fabulously with goat cheese. So while French wIne law can feel alienating and gratuitously pompous, the wines themselves and the experience of drinking them is a universal pleasure,

RT: Haha, that was quite a love song to French wine! But it’s these hard to comprehend rules that are the reason we are sitting here - we need someone to decode them!

AR: And it’s my pleasure to do so!

RT: So now I think it’s time we look at the menu and do some pairing! The Spanish Mackerel definitely caught my eye…                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

AR : Mine too! And I knew exactly where to go for pairing! Spanish Rosada - or rose. Specifically, the incredibly affordable 2019 Muga Rosado from Rioja. Mackerel is an oily fish that needs a bright fresh wine but also something with a little body and structure to stand up to it. Rose is the perfect agent for this mission. This bottling is made from Grenache and Viura with a smattering of TempraNULLlo for some structure. This bottle would probably actually do very nicely with a good portion of this menu and might be a good bet if you were thinking of the tasting menu

RT: I think that Rose is the unsung hero of food pairing and rarely gets the credit it deserves.  I noticed a pretty large selection of half bottles on this list, did any of those stand out to you?

AR: Yes, actually! The first bottle my eyes really landed on was the 2017 Royal Tokaji Lare Harvest Furmint from Tokaji Hungary. This region and its wines date back to the 12th century but really came into prominence in the 7th century when the world - and especially its royal courts- caught on to the pleasures of the sweet, concentrated elixir. Tokaji wines featured prominently in a lot of the geopolitical tussles of the day - their sales funded the wars of independence against the rule of Transylvania by the Austro - Hungarian empire, The royal Russian Romanovs maintained a colony there to ensure their supply and almost went to war over Poland’s sticky-fingered tax on the wines traveling through on their way to Russia. But they all had to compete with Louis the 14th court at Versailles after he declared the wines to be The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings. Today, many styles of Furmint are made - from dry table wines to sweeter Late Harvest, to the botrytis-affected Aszu, to the extremely rare and expensive Eszencia - which is so rich and concentrated and expensive that one drinks it from a crystal teaspoon.

RT: What a fascinating history! Here is a fun fact, I’m actually Hungarian. My parent immigrated and I was raised by staunch Hungarian parents. 

Alexis, thank you so much for being here and the dive into some of the great stories wine tells and the list at Kochi! 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 


We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime,

please check out our website for all our latest episodes or on your favorite podcast service for all your favorite restaurant wine lists.

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






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