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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, certified sommelier and wine educator, and Robert Tas talk about Italian wines at L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant with a 2500-bottle walk-in wine cellar. Maria offers pro tips on what to pair with cheese, suggests a few intriguing wines produced from unique southern Italian grapes and introduces a few hard-to-find wines from a legendary producer in a biodynamic winery.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2015 “Eclisse“ La Roncaia 

  • 2013 “Albium,” Poggio dei Gorleri

  • 2018 Conero Riserva “Sassi Neri,” Le Terrazze

Transcript: L'Artusi


RT: Hello and welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists!

I’m, Robert Tas along with Maria Valetta certified sommelier and wine educator also known as Maria the Wine Blonde

Hello Maria

MV: Buongiorno Roberto! We are talking Italian wines again

RT: WE sure are… so Let’s talk about L’Artusi in New York’s west village  –

Opened in December 2008, L'Artusi is named for Pellegrino Artusi, and his self-published cookbook,The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well, (in Italian though of course ) today this restaurant is still the place to go,…..for expertly executed Pasta.

This 110-seat restaurant features two floors of comfy banquette seating, an extended traditional bar, a cheese bar, AND a chef's counter which is THE best spot for getting a close-up look at all the beautiful Italian comfort food being plated from the open kitchen.

However, CorkRules thinks the most fabulous seat in the restaurant is the Private dining room located WITHIN the 2500-bottle walk-in wine cellar that accommodates up to 14 guests. What a perfect location for a wine dinner with family and friends. Maria let’s hear your suggestions from this lovely Italian wine list

MV: So let me point out that this is an all-Italian wine list and it is very different from most, in that it lists the wines by region..  breaking it down into the 20 different regions of Italy listing both white and red under each regional heading starting all the way up North with the Valle d'Aosta and ending all the way down south with Sicily. I love the little maps they include for each region to help you have a sense of where each region is located within the “boot” BRAVO!

RT: yes I see that.. that’s kind of fun.. so where should we start

MV: I will say on my next visit to NYC, I’m going to hit up L’Artusi for brunch because this brunch cocktail list is calling my name, sometimes I love a refreshing cocktail a few of them are made with wines like the Ten-Past-Twelve .. made with a sparkling Pinot Rose.. and Rum.. very interesting.

RT: I would like that. I agree a good cocktail program always complements a great wine list.. but What about their wines BTG?

MV:  Okay Let’s see….

The “Eclisse “La Roncaia 2015 (fruili venezia giulia )

Now this is from the area of Colli Orientali in Friuli

La Roncaia was named as one of THE TOP 100 wineries in the world by The Drinks Business trade publication in 2020. This is a killer boutique winery!

The grapes are Sauvignon Blanc and the native Picolit – Picolit you often see used in sweet dessert wines from  Friuli… it adds some lovely golden color.  A lot of freshness and minerality here and also some roundness in the body because of partial aging in oak. this is a fantastic wine to order if you are sitting at the cheese bar. and pro tip WHITE wine is usually a much better pairing with cheese than red wine (the exception being port with blue cheese )

RT: That’s a helpful food pairing tip Maria.

And a RED BTG?

MV: I am super interested in this Calabrian wine.. which is the toe of the “boot” so you have a visual reference…

The “Terre Damia”  Odoardi 2014 for under $15-  a great price.. Here’s a wine that will intrigue you with its array of unique southern Italian grapes

Gaglioppo, Greco Nero, Magliocco Nerello Cappuccio  how cool right?

RT: Try something new. Right?

MV: Yes, please listeners out there continue to always expand your wine palate. And try may I suggest that you try this wine with the wagyu carpaccio the heavily marbled meat with little pockets of horseradish crema, its easily one of the best appetizers in NYC!

RT: I bet it would even go well with some of the pasta dishes

MV: FOR sure, yes you could stick with wines by the glass but they have some great bottles to try. 

RT: Then What about a unique must-try bottle?

MV:  I personally love this Italian grape called Pigato and they have a Pigato on the menu! Woohoo~! So you have to try it.. it’s the pigato “Albium,” Poggio dei Gorleri 2013. $100

I personally like white wines that can handle a little age

NO Oak here to hide this grape's beautiful characteristics.. Pigato is native to Liguria (Portofino, cinque Terre ) it’s such an interesting wine… golden in color, with notes of melon and floral honey. With the swordfish dish, it would be stellar!

RT: Now Maria, can you help us navigate the list and find some wines that are considered a good bang for your buck?

MV: There are always some great, value wines, on any list, and this list has quite a few. Something refreshing, Easy, likable and food-friendly a great way to start the meal,.. staying in that region of Liguria try the Vermentino “Berette,” la Ricolla 2020 

Vermentino is the grape and quite a few regions besides Liguria grow vermentino - Sardinia and Tuscany are also great regions for this grape. Typically I have noticed that vermentino from Liguria tends to be more floral than the other regions, but this is Vermentino with 14 days skin contact, and then a long elevage in tank with the lees the left over yeast particles from the fermentation process so a totally different type of vermentino here..  this is some cool juice!

It is guaranteed to have some tannins and an orange color from the skin contact.. some salinity along with peaches and nectarines.. give it a go! A great value at $85 for a winery pushing boundaries like this!

RT: And what about for selection in the red category:

MV: Let me recommend the Conero Riserva “Sassi Neri,” le Terrazze 2018 from Le Marche a great option under $100 this is 100% montepuciano - the grape.. not to be confused with the town in Tuscany where you find wines called Vino nobile di Montepulciano … because that’s actually wine made from the Sangiovese grape.

By law Conero and Rosso Conero designations have to be 85-100 percent the Montepulciano grape however they can have up to 15% Sangiovese..  and this bottle is a  Conero RISERVA, Riserva meaning by law it has to have a  minimum ageing requirement and that is 2 years,

Expect dark velvety fruits, violets, hints of vanilla.. I think this is a bargain because not many people know about the wines from Le Marche.

RT: always good to find the wines not many people know about! Hidden gems!

Now, what about some fancy selections for our big spenders..

MV: ha! can we say Hey big spender>>>  !

Anything anything anything from Emedio Pepe he’s a legendary producer in Abruzzo! His family-run winery has the utmost respect for the land.. never uses fertilizers or pesticides.. follows the cycles of the moon  (meaning biodynamic) uses the old-school methods of planting, pruning and harvesting.. what you get in the glass is a wine that will transport you to the old world .. to the soil and the sun that makes up what is in your glass.. these wines are hard to find and L’artusi has quite a few of them.. both his whites and reds. 

RT: Wow def sounds like worth the money

MV: Absolutely. Now 2 others worth the money:

The Brunello di montalcino, Sassetti Livio - Pertimali 2004 I love the 2004 Brunellos so much.. Remember the grape in Brunello is Sangiovese (the Sangiovese grosso clone) it has that tomato paste, leather, tobacco oregano and cherry that is so fantastic with pasta!

And Here’s another iconic producer. Paolo Scavino .. they have his Prapò Barolo 2016. This is a single vineyard Nebbiolo from the Serralunga hills of Alba in the piedmont. weighty and opulent, the tannins still super grippy. Roses,, Black Plums, truffle and spice.and everthing  nice..


RT: Food pairing with that one?


MV: Anything with mushrooms or truffles. and a little steak to bind with the tannins and soften them up!

RT: Now that’s a great food pairing tip to end on.

MV: IT sure is. I’m starving!

Maria, thank you for ALL of your helpful wine tips and food pairing selections on today’s episode about L’artusi’s wine list Follow Maria on Instagram @Mariathewineblonde. And be sure to follow CorkRules on Instagram to be the first to find out about the latest episodes and giveaways

Thank you EVERYONE for joining us here on CorkRules, 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 and be sure to check out all of our episodes on CorkRules.com; Please drink responsibly.



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