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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan and host Robert Tas lean in to wide range of wines on the list of  L’Amico, where you will find an American menu with Italian influences, and a spectacular wine list. Michaela provides information on some of the more unique varietals from Italy and Slovenia, super Tuscans, wines that pair well with items on the menu, and which value wines and special bottles are recommended must-try wines.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Cornarea Roero Arneis 2020 from Piedmont
  • Begali Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2016 from the Veneto
  • Vinogradi Marko Fon Malvazija 2016 from Slovenia
Transcript: L'Amico

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 Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier.

Hello Michaela, it’s great to be back together for another episode.

MQ: Hi Robert!

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 L’Amico. L’Amico features an American menu with Italian influences. Think of the family getting together for a Sunday supper full of food, wine, and plenty of conversation.

Michaela, I can’t wait to hear what do you think of their wine list?

MQ: After reviewing their wine list, it is not a surprise that they have received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for several years running. It seems that Italy has an endless number of unique grape varietals. Hopefully, some of these will become new favorites.

RT: That’s really great, as you looked at the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: Of course. Let’s begin with the Cornarea Roero Arneis 2020 from Piedmont. The Arneis grape is a light to medium-bodied white grape featuring ripe peach, green apple, and hint of almond on the finish. This is a classic characteristic of the Arneis grape, along with several other Italian white grape varietals. The bit of extra body pairs well with cream sauces.

RT: That is for sure unique.

So, Michaela, their list seems to have lots of range but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

MQ: A must try would be the Begali Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2016 from the Veneto. If you are an Amarone fan, this Valpolicella is a slightly lighter-bodied version. Valpolicella is a blend of the Corvina and Rondinella grapes. This is a rich, medium-bodied red wine offering tart, red cherries, earth, spice, and even a hint of that almond on the finish. This is certainly a food-friendly wine. Think salmon, grilled vegetables, and pasta.

RT: These are some great calls.

So, you know I’m getting thirsty and will need to order a bottle with my dinner, where would you guide us?

MQ: Certainly. I would consider the Vinogradi Marko Fon Malvasia 2016 from Slovenia. The grape varietal is Malvasia, an aromatic white grape, grown near the ocean. With the ocean breezes and limestone soil, this white wine offers bright acidity, dried apricot, and a hint of salinity on the finish. There has been a bit of skin contact, so this organic wine does fall into the orange category, making it perfect to pair with herbal and savory dishes.

Another option to consider would be the Vinochristi Montefalco Sagrantino 2010 from Umbria, especially if you are looking to pair with cheeses, or sausage. The Sagrantino from the village of Montefalco is full-bodied with rich tannins. It is beautifully balanced with ripe red cherries, pepper, and a savory, herbal finish.

RT: Ooh, Terrific.

Michaela, speaking of price, sometimes people have a budget in mind.  any other great value wines you’d point us to? 

MQ: Of course, perhaps the Sagrantino sounded a bit too full-bodied, and you prefer something more of a medium-bodied wine. I would recommend the Alessandro Viola Nerello Mascalese Sinfonia di Rosse 2015. Nerello Mascalese is the grape varietal from Sicily, near Mt. Etna.  This red wine offers fresh acidity with cranberry and cherry yet balances an earthy finish. This wine is a crowd-pleaser and extremely food-friendly, perfect for everything on L’Amico’s menu.

RT: For me personally…

MQ: Absolutely!

RT: Now Michaela, what if I have a big client dinner or special occasion where I want to take it up a notch?

 MQ: I was thrilled to see this classic listed, the Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2013 from Bolgheri. We are heading back to coastal Tuscany where the producer was a fan of Bordeaux blends and wanted to create his own. The Sassicaia, one of the first “Super Tuscans” is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grown is gravel-rich soil…spawning the name Sassicaia, which means “the place of many stones.” This highly rated wine, 97 points from Wine Spectator, impresses with aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, black cherries, cassis, nutmeg, and cedar. The soft tannins and lingering finish will have you quickly understanding the consistently high ratings and storied history.

RT: Michaela, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate L’Amico’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try them myself.  

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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