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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the Mediterranean restaurant Ostra where they discuss some favorite regions and new varietals on the wine list. The menu at Ostra is Inspired by local and European varieties of seafood, and the extensive wine list features over 275 labels. The selection ranges from renowned wine regions across Europe and Napa Valley producers, and Michaela provides recommendations on the standout bottles, pairing suggestions, and tasting notes to ensure you choose the wine that elevates your dining experience. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 Bodegas La Cana Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

  • 2019 Averaen Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

  • 2020 Vila Matilde ‘Rocca dei Leoni’ Falanghina, Campania

Transcript: Ostra


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 lists 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. So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

RT: Today we are talking about Ostra. Located in Boston’s Back Bay, Ostra features a Mediterranean menu with a seafood focus. Relax in their lounge area and enjoy piano entertainment while you scroll through their extensive wine list.

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

MQ: Ostra has a fantastic Champagne and sparkling section, along with half bottles that are definitely worth the look. We will be discussing some favorite regions and new varietals today.

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

MQ: I noticed a favorite right away. The 2021 Bodegas La Cana Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain. This highly rated, medium-bodied white wine features aromas and flavors of lime zest, grapefruit, bright acidity, with an herbal finish. Definitely a consideration to pair with herbed dishes.

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

MQ: Another personal favorite that caught my eye was the 2019 Averaen Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I enjoy this medium bodied pinot noir for the cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry flavors and aromas, along with the spice and coffee notes on the finish. Consider this pinot noir to pair with richly sauced proteins.

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

MQ: A must try to pair with the rich Mediterranean dishes at Ostra is the 2020 Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone Valley of France. This classic blend of syrah, grenache, and mourvedre, is full bodied and smooth, with aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, plumb, with earth and tobacco on the finish. Another wonderful pairing for spicy and herbed dishes.

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 sampling lighter fare for dinner, then a wine to consider would be the 2019 Chateau Fuisse ‘Tete de Cuvee’ Pouilly Fuisse in Burgundy, France. Pouilly Fuisse is a sub-region in Burgundy that produces stand-out Chardonnay. When you see ‘Tete de Cuvee’ on the label, it means top quality. This highly rated chardonnay features aromas of white flowers, green apple, pear, with flavors of lemon zest, minerality, with notes of vanilla on the finish, as this chardonnay spends some time in French oak. This is a rich, beautiful chardonnay that would pair well with seafood and dense fish such as tuna and salmon.

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: One of my many favorite Italian white wines of excellent quality and value is the 2020 Vila Matilde ‘Rocca dei Leoni’ Falanghina from Campania. Falanghina is a medium to full bodied white wine that will certainly stand up to any spicy Mediterranean menu items. With aromas and flavors of green apple, peach, lemon zest, bright acidity, and a mineral finish with a touch of almond.

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

MQ: Another unique red quality/value wine is the 2018 Weingut Gesellmann Zweigelt from Burgenland, Austria. Zweigelt is a red grape that is a cross between St. Laurent and Balufrankisch. This is certainly a wine to consider if you are a fan of Pinot Noir. It is medium-bodied with aromas and flavors of cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries, along with earth, black pepper, and a mineral finish. An excellent quality/value wine to pair with richly sauced dishes.

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

 MQ: I had to stop when I spotted the 100 point Decanter rated 2019 Tenuta San Guido ‘Sassicaia’ from Bolgheri in Tuscany. This 100% cabernet sauvignon award winner spends over two years in French oak and exudes aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, smoke, leather, black currants, with minerality and notes of lavender. Sassicaia’s fame and intrigue has been well known since the late 1960’s upon public release. We don’t always have the opportunity to experience a 100-point wine, which makes the Sassicaia a perfect addition to any special occasion.

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