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About this Episode

Sam Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier and Robert Tas visit the Tuscan restaurant, Pepolino, named after the wild thyme that rolls over the Tuscan hills. The cuisine here is wholly and traditionally Tuscan, but the wines featured today run the gamut of Italy, from north to south. Sam introduces wines to try, identifies the tasting notes, and makes pairing suggestions to help take your dining experience to a whole new level of enjoyment. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Donnafugata Zibibbo
  • 2018 Primitivo Di Medaglione, Puglia
  • 2017 Livio Felluga Terre Alte

For more information on today’s episode, and the wines you love to love, visit www.corkrules.com.

Transcript: Pepolino


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.


Pepolino is named after a type of thyme that grows in Tuscany, the owners of Pepolino picked this name to reflect their cooking style. They incorporate lots of fresh herbs into their cooking and offer traditional dishes that transport you to Tuscany.

Their wine list is categorized into sparkling, white, and red sections making it easy to navigate if you prefer a certain style. There are plenty of choices to complement these rustic and classic flavors.

Where to start

A bottle that caught my eye was the 2019 Donnafugata Zibibbo. This Sicilian white wine is made from the zibibbo grape, also known as Muscat of Alexandria. This grape can actually also be consumed as a table grape or raisin! Zibibbo can be used to make dry or sweet wines. In this case, it’s a dry wine with aromas of orange blossom and citrus. It would pair perfectly with their fried calamari and shrimp.

The 2017 Les Cretes Syrah is a northern Italian red that would be another great choice for pairing with these Italian dishes. This syrah has notes of dark fruit, blueberry, violet and clove. It also has the slight black peppery notes that syrah is known for. It would be wonderful alongside the Crostini with Italian sausage & stracchino cheese

Value Bottle

The 2018 Primitivo il Medaglione from Puglia is a great choice for an affordable but delicious wine. This 100% primitivo red is so drinkable and great with a variety of foods. It’s juicy with notes of plum and blood orange and has velvety tannins and great acid. Pair with their wild boar or lamb shank entrees.

Larger Budget

If you’re looking to spend a little more on a bottle you might try the 2017 Livio Felluga Terre Alte. This delicious white blend has so many amazing flavors going on, it’s an experience all its own! It has some light floral notes, accompanied by tropical fruit like passion fruit and pineapple. It also has subtle banana, almond and vanilla flavors. It’s a white wine that does see a little oak, adding some spice tones to it. All of these flavors and aromas are accompanied by balanced acidity and minerality, so even though it’s an adventure for your palate it also goes great with food, like their roasted Branzino filet. 

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