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About this Episode

Sam Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas join forces to demystify the wine list at Pane e Bene, an Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere and the host of the annual Truffle Fest. This place is all about great food and good times, and the wine list is curated to add to the experience. In addition to identifying the best wines to try, Sam offers excellent pairing suggestions with items on the menu.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2017 Tignanello Antinori
  • 2017 Cannonau Nuraghe Cabrioni
  • 2018 Ornellaia La Grazia
Transcript: Pane e Bene

Pane e Bene

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 Sam Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier

Hello Sam, great to have you back for another great wine list.

SH: Hello 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 wine lists can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, 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.


Pane e Bene is an intimate spot in Westport, Connecticut offering classic Italian dishes from pasta to seafood.

Where to start

If I was going to start with a white wine, I’d try the Timorasso Broglia. This wine comes from the Piedmont region of Italy and is made with the ancient Piedmontese grape variety Timorasso. Wines made from Timorasso usually have tropical notes with a fuller body and lively acidity. These qualities make it a great pairing for dishes such as the Nanette salad with shaved pecorino and fava beans, or the Cacciucco seafood medley with shrimp, calamari, mussels and scallops.

If it’s feeling more like a red wine night, I’d go for the 2017 Tignanello Antinori. The Antinori family has been making wine for over six centuries. This red comes from the Tenuta Tignanello estate vineyard in the Chianti Classico region. It’s composed of mostly Sangiovese grapes along with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This wine will have complex aromas of red fruit and spice. If you’re looking to pair a starter with it try the Scarpariello flatbread that has spicy peppers and sweet sausage, or it would be wonderful alongside the veal chop parmigiana.

Value Bottle

This wine list has some great affordable options in different styles. If I’m thinking white, I would go for the Grillo Colosi Sicilia. Colosi produces their wines on the island of Salina, overlooking the sea. I love a zippy white wine with a salty finish, and I would pair this with the Linguine with white clam sauce. I also have to mention the fact that there’s a little section on the menu focused just on Italian Fries, and if you find yourself compelled to order some like I would be, this Grillo will be there to accompany you on that journey.

Another great value option would be the 2017 Cannonau Nuraghe Cabrioni. Cannonau is a signature grape of the island of Sardinia and is known as grenache in France and garnacha in Spain, so this grape may be familiar. This red is going to have flavors of cherry and raspberry, and subtle spiciness. Because of the sea influence in Sardinia, this red is going to have some salinity to it as well. It’s looking to partner with something bold in the tomato department, so try it with the fettuccine with meat sauce and porcini.


If your night calls for something special the 2018 Ornellaia La Grazia would be a great choice. Ornellaia is a famous winery in Tuscany and is known for their “Super Tuscan '' wines, a phrase meaning that the wines are made in Tuscany from non-indigenous grapes. La Grazia is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The grapes in this red blend highlight true Mediterranean expression since the vineyard is located in the foothills near Bolgheri and is influenced by sea breezes coming off the coast. This complex red will be rich and structured, offering black fruit aromas and red fruit flavors, accompanied by earthy notes and cocoa. It can handle some deep flavors so pair it with the veal loin chop with garlic and rosemary.

Sam, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Pane e Bene’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try your great suggestions.   

To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules.

If you would like Sam 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.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for all our latest 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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