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About this Episode

Samantha Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas navigate the wine list of Levante to help you pair the best bottle with your pizza or pasta – or both. Levante is a casual-cool, pizza-centric Italian restaurant and bar in the heart of Long Island City. It’s vibrant, lively, and delicious. This wine list offers options to satisfy wine lovers of all types, from bubble or classic Italian white to Super Tuscans, Sam points out the best bottles to try and encourages you to be a little more adventurous when choosing a bottle for the table. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Alta Mora Etna Bianco
  • 2014 Boscarelli Vino Nobile
  • 2016 Pacherhof Sylvaner
Transcript: Levante


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a Wine List from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Samantha Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Sam, it’s great to have you!

SH: Hey, Hey Robert!

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about those wine lists. We created CorkRules to help 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 today we’re talking about Levante is a cool casual pizza-centric Italian restaurant in Long Island City. I’m sure their wine list will match the vibe. Sam what did you think?


This Italian menu has a selection of antipasti options to get your meal started right, followed by classic pasta dishes. Levante refers to themselves as “pizza-centric” which is apparent in their pizza section on the menu. They have pizzas that offer something to intrigue any palate, whether you like something a little salty, sweet, or filled with earthiness and umami. Is there anything as satisfying as a really good pizza and glass of wine?

Interesting finds

The great thing about this wine list is that there are options that will satisfy wine lovers of all types. If you like Super Tuscans, bubbles, or classic Italian whites you will surely find something to savor.

A wine that would make a great aperitif or paired alongside a pizza would be the Lambrusco Grasparossa. Lambrusco is a slightly sparkling Italian red wine. It got a bad reputation some years back for being known as a sweet and fizzy sugar bomb - but make no mistake, Lambrusco made in its classic style is not only a fun drinking experience but so good with food! It has both dark fruit and red fruit flavors along with some earthy components and an acidic backbone which makes it so food friendly.

Another great place to start would be the 2019 Alta Mora Etna Bianco. This Sicilian white wine is made from the indigenous grape, carricante. The aromas of this wine are abundant and bright, followed by flavors of crisp green apple and crushed stone. It would be wonderful with the fritto misto.

Value wines

This Italian wine list is great because not only are there lots of options and styles to try, but many of them won’t break the bank.

You can also get some great bottles that have age on them for an affordable price, like the 2014 Boscarelli Vino Nobile (nobeelay) di Montepulciano. If you’re a Sangiovese lover this classic has a wonderful balance of fruity and earthy notes to it. Aging gives it those soft tannins that make it a great partner with food. Pair with a pizza that has mushrooms and prosciutto di parma on it!

The 2016 Pacherhof Sylvaner sil-vahn-er is a great white option if you’re looking for a value bottle that still packs great flavor. It comes from the Alto Adige region of Italy, which borders Austria. This white wine has herbaceous, floral and tropical notes like banana, all backed by crisp acidity. Try this white with the poached asparagus on the menu and you’ve got a hit!

Celebration wine

If you’re looking for something special and a little unusual, try the ​​2013 Santadi Terre Brune Carignano del Sulcis sulcis. This red comes from the Italian island of Sardinia and is rich, jammy, and has notes of spice. It has rounded tannins and acidity from the aging, accompanied by a long finish. This is a delicious bottle to celebrate over and would play well with pizza or pastas with meat on the menu!

RT: Sam, thank you for the great suggestions and helping us navigate the wine list at Levante.

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. Follow us on social media @CorkRules

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

Thank you.








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