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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan joins Robert Tas for the first episode of CorkRules. In this episode, Michaela explores the extensive, 33-page, award-winning wine list of the seafood restaurant Oceana, including a few fantastic standouts from around the globe. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • Valtea Albarino from Rias Baixis,
  • Don Bernardino Mencia,
  • Christian Simone Petit Chablis 2017
Transcript: Oceana

Music Intro:

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 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, today we are talking about Oceana. If you are near Rockefeller Center and craving critically acclaimed seafood, Oceana is for you…not to mention their astounding wine list.

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

MQ: I was sidetracked by their cocktail list, which should always receive attention.

RT: It’s always nice to start the night with something, what’s your beverage of choice?


RT: For me I’m old school so an old fashioned but we digress.

MQ: Alright, Now, back to wine! They feature several standouts from around the globe. I was also taken by their half-bottle list. This is a wonderful option when there may be different palates at the table.

RT: That’s really great, very unusual for a restaurant to have that many great ½ bottles.  As you looked at the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: Let’s begin in Spain with the Valtea Albarino from Rias Biaxis. Rias Baixas is located just north of the Portugal border in Galicia. Albarino is a perfect pairing for all things seafood, due to its acidity, fresh grapefruit, citrus, and salinity. Think of it as a  fuller-bodied Sauvignon Blanc with a touch more melon.

RT: That’s a. nice start for sure.

So Michaela, their list has some many great choices, it’s hard to get my arms around it, it’s 33 pages. was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

MQ: Of course. Let’s stay in Spain, and head over to Ribeira Sacra, still in the Galicia province. I would try the Don Bernadino Mencia. Mencia is a medium-bodied red grape, with aromas of pomegranate and cherry, along with a hint of licorice and pepper on the finish. This is where any pairing of herbs and root vegetables would be a perfect fit.

RT: Love that call. So as I start thinking about my second course maybe some raw bars item, I think we’re going to need a bottle, where would you guide us?

MQ: Yes, yes. Let’s head to France. To Burgundy of course, to try the Christian Simone Petit Chablis 2017. Petit Chablis is the appellation located around the town of Chablis in Burgundy and is 100% Chardonnay. This Chardonnay also has high acidity, making it a perfect pairing for richer dishes such as chowders, raw fish, and sushi. Certainly a crowd-pleaser.

RT: That sounds yum, I love Chablis.  Michaela, this wine list has something for everyone, any great value wine jump out at you?

MQ: I have spotted a few wonderful value wines to pair with the incredible Oceana menu. The first being Gadais Muscadet from the Loire Valley of France. Muscadet, a dry, light, crisp, white wine is perfect for all things raw bar! Oysters, you name it, and this is your selection. Muscadet is also a wonderful wine to sip on and enjoy as you peruse the menu.

Another favorite, and keeping it local, is the Blaufrankisch, from Red Tail Ridge in the Finger Lakes of NY. Blaufrankisch, not only is it fun to say, but it is a dark-skinned grape originating in Austria. Back to those bright tannins, blackberry, and black cherry, this is a wonderful pairing for smoked dishes.

RT: Sounds yum. NY sure has some great wineries.

MQ: Absolutely!

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

MQ: Of course. A personal favorite, and eternal California Cabernet Sauvignon classic, the Groth Vineyard Reserve 2015 from the Oakville district of Napa Valley will never disappoint. The smooth tannins, rich red berries, and a hint of vaNULLla from its time in oak barrels will win over any client or add to any celebration.

RT: Michaela, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Oceana’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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