Available on

About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the modern Mediterranean restaurant Porto. This restaurant has a  lively bar scene and outdoor patio in Boston's Back Bay, the perfect location for a fun night out. In addition to a James Beard award-winning menu, Porto’s wine list consists of unique and classic varietals and Michaela is here to help find those special bottles and hidden gems. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Santo Winery, Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece

  • 2019 Castellare, Poggio alla Guardia, Tuscany

  • 2020 Pacher Hoff, Muller Thurgau, from Varna, Italy

Transcript: Porto


Music Intro:

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.

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

RT: Today we are talking about Porto. Head to Boston’s Back Bay for a trip to the Mediterranean. Come enjoy coastal Italian fare prepared by a James Beard Award winning chef.  

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

MQ: Porto’s wine list consists of unique and classic varietals that make perfect companions to their incredible dining menu. We hope you enjoy today’s selections.

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

MQ: A favorite varietal that caught my eye was the 2020 Santo Winery, Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece. The light to medium body of this white wine, along with the bright acidity, white floral nose, notes of tangerine, ripe pear, and lime zest with a mineral finish make this wine a wonderful aperitif, or to pair with shellfish and light fish.

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

MQ: I have been noticing a number of wine lists that feature a special section for Super Tuscan wines. Super Tuscan is often a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese from Tuscany. One to consider is the 2019 Castellare, Poggio alla Guardia from Tuscany. This highly rated red wine also has a bit of Merlot in the blend which only adds to the rich, ripe plumb, ripe blackberries, cassis, smoke, and leather with notes of cocoa on the mineral finish. Consider this red when pairing with charcuterie or herbed 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 is the 2020 Pacher Hoff, Muller Thurgau, from Varna, Italy. Northern Italy does an excellent job producing this more notably German or Austrian grape variety. The Muller Thurgau features aromas and flavors of citrus, white flowers, elderberry, green apple, and tangerine. This bottle is dry, however, Mueller Thurgau can also be produced with medium sweetness. Pair with lighter fare and spicy 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: A wine to consider to pair with richly sauced and savory dishes would be the always highly rated Michele Chiarlo Reyna Barbaresco from the Piedmont in Italy. This dry, full bodied red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape features aromas and flavors of ripe, red cherries, rose petals, ripe raspberries, with notes of tobacco and violets on the smooth finish.



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 wonderful sparkler that I was happy to see on the list is the 2016 Argyle Brut from the Willamette Valley of Oregon. This blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and splash of Pinot Meunier, results in a fresh, dry sparkler featuring ripe green apple, lemon zest, and brioche. A perfect way to begin your dining experience, or to pair with cheese, shellfish, or any fried dishes, all for an excellent price.

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

MQ: As a fan of Rhone blends, I am always excited when I spot that stand-out quality/value wine. Consider the 2019 Chateau Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone from the Rhone Valley of France. This organic blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre makes a perfect companion to the Mediterranean spices on the menu. Notes of black pepper, thyme, sage, ripe blackberries, with soft tannins and a mineral finish make this wine a can’t miss.

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

 MQ: If you are looking for a bold, complex, stand-out vintage, consider the 2012 Chateau La Garde, from Pessac-Leognan in Bordeaux, France. This exceptional blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot will certainly add to the pleasure of your dining experience. The classic aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, earth, leather, graphite, and rich, round tannins truly make this wine a perfect companion to richly herbed and sauced proteins, and special occasions.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Porto’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.








Want to request a Restaurant?

Interested in having a restaurant’s wine list featured in a future podcast episode? Let us know here.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!