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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore the wine list of the exotic restaurant Oleana where they celebrate the cuisine of Turkey and the Middle East and peruse the wine list to find the special bottles, value wines, and hidden gems that accentuate the herbs and spices of the Middle Eastern plates. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Stadt Krems, Grüner Veltliner, from Kremstal, Austria
  • 2021 Lyrarakis Assyrtiko, from Greece
  • 2019 Moric, “Hidden Treasures” Furmint Blend from Hungary
Transcript: Oleana


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 Oleana. Flavors and spices from small plates of traditional dishes from Turkey and the Middle East abound in this Cambridge, MA destination.

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

MQ: Their outstanding wine list rivals their menu for incredible style. I have picked out a few unique varietals that I hope you enjoy and become new favorites.

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

MQ: A unique way to begin your experience at Oleana would be with the Keush, Voskehat NV Brut from  Armenia. This dry, sparkling wine made predominately from the voskehat grape features aromas and flavors of green apple, tangerine, and lemon, along with a toasty finish.

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

MQ: Of course! A wonderful grape to pair with a variety of spices is the 2020 Stadt Krems, Grüner Veltliner, from Kremstal, Austria. This food-friendly wine features notes of pear, stone fruit/apricot, and peach, along with notes of citrus, bright acidity, and minerality, with a creamy finish.

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


MQ: An absolute must-try is the 2021 Lyrarakis Assyrtiko, from Greece. The assyrtiko grape produces a light, white wine featuring bright acidity, green apple, lemon, with notes of herbs, and a mineral finish. A perfect pairing for shellfish, and rich fish such as salmon. Certainly, a must-try for those who enjoy white Bordeaux or Sancerre.

RT: That sounds great. Did any reds catch your eye?

MQ: Another must-try is the 2018 Zorah ‘Karasi,’ from Armenia. The red grape in this wine is called Areni which features aromas and flavors of herbs, sour cherries, plumb, bright acidity, smooth tannins, and a black pepper note on the finish. Another complement to the spices on the menu.

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: Another food-friendly, unique blend that caught my eye to consider would be the 2019 Moric, Hidden Treasures Furmint blend from Hungary. The furmint grape, along with its blending partner in this wine, riesling, are incredibly versatile grapes. Meaning, they can produce beautiful wines from dry to sweet. This is a medium-bodied, dry blend, with bright acidity. The green apple, and pear, with notes of citrus and a touch of honey on the finish pair well and compliment all menu items. 

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: A fantastic quality and value red wine to consider would be the 2021 Lyrarakis, Liatiko, from Crete, Greece. The Liatiko grape features aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries, red cherries, and blackberries, smooth tannins, with notes of herbs and a touch of licorice on the finish. A wonderful food-friendly wine at an excellent price.

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

MQ: One to consider would be the 2012 Château Musar, cabernet sauvignon blend, from the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. This is a spectacular take on a Bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Carignan, from historic Chateau Musar. The rich, ruby color with aromas and flavors of fig, plumb, and spice balance beautifully with notes of licorice, cocoa, and earth. Certainly, a wine to be savored when celebrating any special occasion.

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