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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Lago restaurant in the Bellagio Hotel, a special Italian hot spot with fountain views. The menu reflects the regional cuisine of Italy and the wine list offers carefully selected bottles from various regions of Italy but also noteworthy wines from all over the globe. Maria helps you decide what to pair with the menu including a stellar Barolo with the mushroom risotto, a wine whose vines grow on lava flow, and a mineral-driven fresh white, that is perfect to pair with seafood pastas.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Cordero de Montezemolo, Arneis, Piedmont

  • 2019 Edge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 

  • 2019 Greg Linn, Langhe Nebbiolo

Transcript: Lago


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 learn to order wine with confidence.

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

MV: Hello Robert! I’m excited to talk about this special Italian hot spot with Fountain views today

RT: That’s right Maria, but before we get started, let’s talk about CorkRules. CorkRules was created to help you navigate the wine list so you will always love the wine you drink. With CorkRules in hand, you can confidently and easily select wines from wine lists based on your preferences of flavor, style, region, and even price! Plus, you can check out which wines your friends ordered and try them yourself. Want to get started? Then check out our podcast wine list reviews, our Top Sommeliers are here to help you find those hidden gems, value wines, and those special celebration-worthy bottles.

Now Maria, let’s talk about this Bellagio restaurant favorite.

MV: Let's get into it. Today we are talking about Lago Restaurant in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino by the James Beard award-winning chef, Julian Serrano. Get ready for your tastebuds to take a culinary tour of the many different regions of Italy. The menu features creative interpretations of innovative Italian small plates and handmade pastas that are perfect for sharing, while taking in the romantic view of the iconic Bellagio fountains.

RT: I bet this is a hot spot in Vegas. How does the wine list look Maria?

MV: It sure is, we have come here for a few celebrations, and the wine list has so many wonderful choices from all over the world. Plus the view really is one of the best!

RT: That’s great to hear,  so why don’t you select a few options by the glass to kick off our meal.

MV: Yes, I would recommend if you wanted to start with something light, and as refreshing as those fountains, the Nino Franco,'Rustico', Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, from the Veneto region of Italy. I’m particular with my prosecco, some of them can honestly be boring, but the Nino Franco is one that I really like and it’s the most reasonably priced bubbly on the by the glass list. It’s going to be great with the oysters, or the fish Crudo options.

RT: Any still wines that would also pair with those dishes?

MV: yes, the Cordero de Montezemolo, Arneis 2020.  Now Arneis is an indigenous Italian white grape from the piedmont region of Italy. This wine is pure expression of the fruit, this is not an oaked wine, I love this grape.

Now If you are a butter chardonnay drinker and would prefer a wine with oak influence then I would suggest the Patz & Hall, 'Dutton Ranch', Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2018 

RT: 2 great options, and how about some nice reds by the glass?

MV: I would order the Vajra, (*Viara)Barbera d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy [3825855] 2018 

$20 Great producer that also makes killer Barolos but, loves their Barbera too because of the

Dark rich fruits like blackberries and black currants here, and this would be stellar with the mushroom risotto!

Another great option is the Edge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2019 a luscious and smooth, wine that is lovable without breaking the bank.

RT: Fantastic! What about the list of bottles.. so much to choose from, what caught your eye that our listeners should try?

MV: Well Robert they have some great champagnes and I think that a bottle of champagne is a perfect way to kick off an evening in Vegas.

Delamotte, Blanc de Blanc, Le Mesnil sur Oger 100 % chardonnay grapes a multi vingtage option and for vintage, the Piper-Heidsieck, Rare, Reims 2008 

The top cuvee they make also called Tete du Cuvee This bottle is beautiful!! Just stunning!

Also loving that they have some Greg Linn wines. They are always awesome. I love their motto, which is “whatever it takes” because quality is the most important thing for them.

RT: Any of those fall in the value category?

MV:Yes actually, the Greg Linn 2019 Langhe Nebbiolo, he produces great Barbaresco and Barolos, this is the same grape, Nebbiolo, so basically a declassified, lighter structured Barbaresco is what you get and  a much more reasonable price point comes with it.$180

RT: That’s a great find Maria, what else falls into the value category?

MV: The Planeta, Eruzione 1614, Nerello Mascalese  2018 from Sicily.

$102 This is a lighter-bodied red that I often recommend to those that favor a lighter-bodied like Pinot Noir. There’s some similarities here and get this 1614 correlates to the eruption of the Etna volcano which in year erupted and lasted for a legendary 10 years, And get this

The vines which produce this wine grow on actual lava Flow

RT: that is just super cool, now I do see a lot of seafood on the menu so a white would also be a  nice recommendation here.

MV: For sure, I can give you 2 Italian whites, the Reva, Grey, Langhe 2018 

$ This is a white from the piedmont region 50% SB and 50% Sauvignon Gris organic, vegan-friendly, a medium-bodied, mineral-driven fresh white, perfect with seafood pasta grilled vegetables or pesto. And the Poggio al Tesoro, Solosole, Vermentino, Bolgheri a Tuscan white 2020  that would be lovely with the mixed seafood Grill.

RT: Now we need 2 finalé wines! Something as spectacular as those fountains!

MV: haha! Love that, they are spectacular! The Dominique Lafon, 'Les Champs Gains', 1er Cru 2017 Puligny Montrachet white burgundy from French is the origin of course. vines averaging 50+ years in age. Hard to find, this is chardonnay at a whole other level. INCREDIBLE balance with the oak here.

And a lovely red worthy of a special celebration I would say definitely go Italian, given the menu… I’m eyeing that Veal Osso Bucco with the Saffron Risotto that, and the Valdicava 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is going to be amazing!!!

And just a side tip since we are talking about Valdicava, when we were last there we had a bottle of their Rosso di Montalcino which is also a really nice option without being too spendy! SO there you go!

RT: Yes! The rosso’s are always a good buy and I would say those from the top producers are quite impressive. But that Valdicava Brunello and Veal Osso Bucco … that’s where you had me!

MV: HAHA! I knew you would love that pairing Robert!

RT: well Thank you Maria for taking us through the Wine list at Lago Restaurant Las Vegas In the Bellagio Hotel.  You gave our listeners a lot of great wines to try.

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.













  The dynamic modern space of bright uplifting colors and an outdoor patio with views of the iconic Bellagio fountains make it the perfect spot for a date night, a leisurely leisurely lunch or weekend brunch.





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