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About this Episode

Aloha and welcome back to CorkRules. In this episode, Alexis Rogers is on hand to help us navigate the wine list of the Hawaiian restaurant Noreetuh in East Village. Noreetuh’s wine list will appeal to those who have an adventurous palate. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • Pax Obsidian Syrah from Knights’ Valley in Sonoma County, California
  • Chateau Musar from the Bekka Valley
Transcript: Noreetuh


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRrules!

A podcast where (in each episode) we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Alexis Rogers, Wine Educator and  Restuarant Sommelier

Hello Alexis, it’s great to have you on this episode.

AR: Hi Robert! Excited to be here and talking about the menu and wine list at Noreetuh! We've reviewed a lot of very cool restaurants but this one has probably caught my personal interest the most!

RT: Well, then I’m glad we’re talking about it! CorkRules was created to demystify and simply ordering wine at restaurants - an experience that can be intimidating for most people, even those that drink a lot of wine.

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.

Today we are discussing Noreetuh - a modern Hawaiian spot in the East Village co-owned by Chef Chung Chow and General Manager (and creator of this fascinating wine list) Jin Ahn.

So Alexis, tell me why this one sparked your interest in particular…

AR: Noreetuh means “playground” in Korean and that is exactly how I would describe these offerings - a playground for wine nerds and serious wine drinkers with an international palate. Despite being somewhat non-traditionally organized, this list is very approachable.

RT : Non traditionally organized in what way?

AR: We HAVE to start with Riesling here - German Riesling in particular. Noreetuh’s list has 6 subsections of German Riesling - off-dry and sweet younger than 25 years, off-dry and sweet over 25 years old, dry styles, and then 3 subsections dedicated solely to some of the best producers in that country - JJ Prum, Donnhoff, and Keller. I looked at the wine list before the food menu and just figured the Wine Director was a German wine enthusiast! But seeing what’s on offer on the culinary side, it makes perfect sense. The intense tropical flavors of Hawaiian food call for a wine with equally intense and tropical flavors. These wines run the gamut from Bone-Dry to Lusciously Sweet.

RT: With so many to choose from, how can you tell which will be sweet and which will be dry? 

AR: In German wine law, there are always some key words to look for to help us there. We talked about GGs on a previous episode - bottlings from recognized superior sites that are always dry, the actual word “Trocken” which translates to dry in German, and then the Pradikat system. The Pradikatswein system is a classification system that actually measures grape sugar ripeness at harvest but can help clue us into sweetness level. From bottom to top we have Kabinett (drier to off dry), Spatlese (med dry to med sweet), Auslese (med sweet to sweet) and then Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese which are fully sweet dessert wines. Pairing tip - the spicer the food, the sweeter your wine should be!

RT: Say those 3x fast! Who knew Rieslings could be so complex? I really like how they have highlighted the wines from one specific country so well!

AR : I do too! I personally love German wine and think it’s very undervalued - which often translates to great bargains for amazing wines. Same with another country featured prominently here - Lebanon, especially the wines of producer Chateau Musar from the Bekka Valley. Whites are made from native Lebanese grapes that I won't even venture a guess at how to pronounce. They are rich, lush, tropical and intensely aromatic. Order up some coconut shrimp and tuna belly katsu and dig in! Reds are powerhouse blends of Cab Sauv, Carignan, and Cinsault. Be careful with these and other big tannin red with this menu as high tannins can increase the perception of fishiness and eviscerate the bright flavors here.

RT: So THAT’s why they say to do white with fish. Good to know and an important consideration with this menu. But I DO see a 30-day dry-aged porterhouse…

AR: Yes! Here is where those full-bodied, tannic reds come in! My pick here is the Pax Obsidian Syrah from Knight's Valley in Sonoma County, California. Intensely colored and concentrated, we get big jammy blackberry and blueberry, black licorice, dried sage, smoked meat and black peppercorn notes here. The dark Obsidian soils it takes its name from help to trap heat so these grapes get super ripe. The` super ripeness is what’s to thank for the full body and lush palate on this wine. This bad boy absolutely needs some time in bottle to mellow so this 2003 vintage is going to be perfect right now,

RT: A great producer and a tempting pairing! I can't wait to visit Noreetuh and dive into the beautiful flavors of Hawaiian cuisine! Alexis, thank you so much for being here and explaining the complexities of German Wine Law to us! 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.


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