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About this Episode

Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a trip to California where they review the wine list at Nopa, a San Franciscan gathering place for foodies and winies who also enjoy a good time and a good cocktail. Grant shares his knowledge of wine and the producers as he reviews some stellar biodynamic bottles, bottles of bubbly, the best value bottles, and of course, the bottles that would be suitable for a special occasion. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Littorai Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2015 Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvèe
  • 2017 Bedrock Vineyard Heritage from Sonoma Valley
Transcript: Nopa


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier

Hello Grant, great to have you back for another great wine list.

GW: Hello 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 wine lists can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, 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.


Nopa is a very popular gathering place north of the Panhandle and changes their menu weekly using whatever produce is in season from Northern California growers. They have a diverse wine and cocktail program that matches their ever-changing menu. Let’s take a look and see what excites us on their list.

Let’s look at their cocktails as you know I love a good libation to get my evening started.

Right away, I like the Pisco Punch which features Cappuro Quebranta Pisco, preserved meyer lemon cordial, pineapple gum, makrut lime and is a perfect way get things grooving.

I wouldn’t pass on the Alebrije either which features Morro Espadin mezcal, Apricot Shrub, cacao, Espelette, and lemon that is sure to loosen the nerves and sure to get the party started.

If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, then their by-the-glass program is great and I would start with the 2020 sparkling Albariño by Carboniste from Andrus Island here in California which is a fun bubbly for a quick cheers and a good way to pair with something light.

Another fun wine by the glass would be the Chilled red Mission from Monte Rio Cellars coming from Lodi. Mission is of course the grape used by Spanish missionaries here in California that some producers are reviving and making cool, easy drinking wines from them. Fun Fact, the grape Mission is called Pais in Chile, Criolla Chica in Argentina but is called Listan Pietro in its native home of Spain that the Spanish brought to the new world.

Let’s switch over to the bottle list. Starting with bubbles, the 2015 Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvèe from the Santa Lucia Highlands is a local favorite of mine whose winemaker was formerly of Roderer Estate.

If you wanna go big, I’d go for the Ulysse Collin, Les Pierrieres bdb coming from the Aube.

For whites, The 2017 Matthiasson white wine from Napa Valley is a great wine based on sauvignon blanc and a great value wine made from well-farmed vineyards and is very food friendly.

Another great value is the 2020 Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc from Paso Robles is super fresh and easy going.

For something a bit rounder, I love the 2018 Newfound Chuy vineyard Chardonnay from Moon Mountain in Sonoma. Chuy is an exceptional farmer and planted this vineyard in the early 70s about 2k feet all head trained and dry farmed.

Moving to reds, the 2021 Scribe Nouveau of Pinot Noir from Carneros which is a carbonic wine that’s fruity, fresh and easy going and a fun take of Beaujolais Nouveau at a good value.

Kicking things up a notch, I love the 2019 Littorai Cerise vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley. Ted Lemon makes stunning wines from Biodynamically farmed vineyards that are very sought after.


Also, of course, I have to make a shout out to the 2017 Bedrock Vineyard Heritage from Sonoma Valley that comes from vines planted in 1888 by Senator Hearst which is based on Zinfandel along with 27 other varieties interplanted together.

Lastly, since I know you like the bigger reds Robert, I’d go for the 2018 Ceritas, Peter-Martin Ray vineyard from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Overall, I love this list and the food they make is not to be missed. This is a San Francisco staple that you should definitely check out if you’re in the Bay.



Grant, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Nopa’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try your great suggestions.   

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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