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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a look through the wine list at Oberlin in Providence, Rhode Island to find the value wines, special bottles, and little-known gems that you might miss. A James Beard Award finalist, Oberlin features an extensive menu of seafood and pasta, and the wine list offers an eclectic selection of  Old World and New World wines, organic, skin contact, and local wines from New England. Michaela spots wines made from rare varietals, natural whites from Chile, and unique orange wines from Georgia. If an adventure in wine is what you’re looking for, you’ve arrived. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 Echeverria Viognier, Curico Valley, Chile

  • 2020 Hofstatter Meczan Pinot Nero, Alto Adige, Italy

  • 2019 Nine Oakes Khikhvi


Transcript: Oberlin


RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where, in each episode, we will review a Wine List from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier.

Hello Michaela, it’s great to be back together for another episode.

MQ: Hi 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 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, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

RT: Today we are talking about Oberlin. Located in Providence, RI, Oberlin features an extensive menu of seafood and pasta, all locally sourced and house made in a cozy and comfortable environment.

Michaela, I can’t wait to hear what do you think of their wine list?

MQ: This wine list is packed with Old World and New World wines, along with organic, skin contact, and local wines from New England.

RT: That’s really great, as you looked the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: The first white wine that caught my eye was the 2021 Echeverria Viognier from the Curico Valley of Chile. I have not experienced too many Chilean Viognier. This Natural white wine features aromas of white flowers, citrus, melon, with notes of saline and a mineral finish. This Viognier would pair beautifully with seafood and spicy dishes.

RT: That is for sure unique. Did you find any others that caught your eye right away?

MQ: We discuss many red Italian grape varietals,  but one I don’t see often is Pinot Nero. Consider the 2020 Hofstatter Meczan Pinot Nero from Alto Adige in Italy. Pinot Nero is another name for Pinot Noir, and this wine stands out due to its rich aromas of ripe raspberries, cranberries and red cherries. The medium body with notes of black pepper make this wine an excellent pairing for savory dishes and pasta.

RT: So Michaela, their list seems to have lots of range but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

MQ: Definitely a must-try seafood pairing is the 2019 Nine Oakes Khikhvi from the country of Georgia. This is a unique, orange wine, which allows the juice and skin of the Khikhvi grape to ferment in contact to produce aromas and flavors of dried apricot, and ripe tangerine, with notes of mint and tea leaves.

RT: These are some great calls. So, you know I’m getting thirsty and will need to order a bottle with my dinner, where would you guide us?

MQ: If you are considering seafood or lightly sauced pasta, a must-try is the always spectacular 2021 Chateau Pradeaux Rose from Bandol in France. Bandol is an exceptional appellation in Provence in southern France. This exquisite rose consisting of a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Mourvedre, is medium-bodied with aromas of lime zest, red cherries, watermelon, and raspberries. The finish is round and lingering with a slight saline note thanks to the vineyard location along the Mediterranean.

RT: Ooh, Terrific.

Michaela, speaking of price, sometimes people have a budget in mind.  any other great value wines you’d point us to? 

MQ: Another unique quality and value wine is the 2011 Luis Pato “Informal” Baga from Portugal. The Baga grape used in this dry sparkler is a thick-skinned, red grape that features bright acidy and aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberries, and herbs. There is always room for sparkling wine, and this selection pairs beautifully with any seafood dish.

RT: That sounds great. What is your other value selection?

MQ: For our red wine drinkers, consider the exceptional quality and value of the 2020 Cantina Furlani Negrara from Italy. The red Negrara grape is indigenous to the northeastern region of Italy, specifically Trentino-Alto Adige and the Veneto. The ripe red fruit of this medium-bodied wine showcase ripe cherries, cranberries, raspberries, with notes of blueberries, earth, with an herbal finish. Pair this red with dense fish and richly sauced pasta.

RT: Now Michaela, what if I have a big client dinner or special occasion where I want to take it up a notch?

MQ: Another standout on Oberlin’s menu is the 2014 Esporao ‘Canto de ze Crus’ Aragonez from Portugal. Aragonez is a rich, red grape, that is another name for Tempranillo. If you are looking for a rich, full bodied red wine to take your dining experience up a notch, then look no further. This is a unique grape from a region we may consider primarily for stellar dessert wine. The dark red fruit such as blackberries, boysenberries, cassis, with smoke, leather, and a lingering mineral finish would complement any richly sauced pasta, proteins, and special occasions.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Oberlin’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try them myself.  

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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