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About this Episode

Sam Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the multi award-winning, family-owned and operated seafood restaurant, Rowayton Seafood. Seafood doesn’t get fresher than this, and the wine list offers old-world and new-world options with a range of price options to suit all budgets. Michaela shares her expert opinion on a few whites, a naturally sparkling rose, and a pinot noir to pair with fish.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Willamette Valley Vineyards White Pinot Noir

  • 2018 Borgogno Riesling

  • 2020 Lioco Pinot Noir, Mendocino, County California

Transcript: Rowayton

Rowayton Seafood

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.

Cork Rules

Rowayton Seafood


Located in Rowayton, Connecticut, Rowayton Seafood is a bright spot overlooking the marina. This family-owned restaurant started as a seafood market, which is still located next door, and is known for their fresh seafood dishes.

Stand outs

They curated their wine list with old-world and new-world options, as well as a range of price options so there’s something for everyone. There were a few white wines that immediately stood out to me on this list, which are great with all the fresh shellfish and seafood on the menu. 

The first one that caught my eye was the 2020 Willamette Valley Vineyards White Pinot Noir. Maybe you’ve had a wine made from Pinot Blanc, which is a white grape, but this is a white wine made from the red Pinot Noir grape. The process is the same as any white wines, where the grapes are pressed immediately after harvest. There is no time that the juice spends with the skins, preventing it from taking on red wine characteristics. The result is a white wine that has notes of baked apple and citrus fruit, along with delicate floral tones and rich mouthfeel. There will be some nice acid on this too, making it a bright pairing for the fried calamari.

RT >>>

The other white wine that I was drawn to was the 2018 Borgogno Riesling. That’s right, this is an Italian riesling from Alba, which is in the Piedmont region of Italy. Borgogno vineyards produce mostly red wine varieties such as nebbiolo and have a few hectares reserved for white wine varieties. This Riesling will have notes of pear and lemon, along great minerality and subtle savory tones. Try it alongside the roasted oysters with garlic or the Tuna Sashimi Flatbread. 

Value Bottle

Like we mentioned, this wine list was created to include wines of all price ranges so there’s some great choices that won’t break the bank.

The 2020 Petulante Rose is a fun and refreshing option. This rose made from the garnacha grape is a Petillant Naturel, which means “natural sparkling.” Also known as the ancestral method, it’s the oldest method of making sparkling wine where it is bottled while still fermenting and the Carbon Dioxide gas causes the bubbles. This pet nat is going to have notes of red berries and watermelon with acidity to balance it out. It would be great with the popcorn shrimp!


Let’s not forget about those red lovers, and we’ll move away from thinking that you just can’t have red with fish. The 2020 Lioco Pinot Noir from Mendocino, County California would be a great choice. The cooler climate in Mendocino County is known for contributing to great pinot noirs. Flavors of black raspberry and cherry. The Lioco winemakers say that the surrounding redwood forests contribute to pine needle notes in the wine. Try this with the Faroe Island Salmon with celery root puree.


These beautiful seafood dishes have me thinking of the classic duo: bubbles. This list has plenty of bubbles to celebrate over and to pair with a variety of dishes, but a bottle that would take your night to another level would be the 2000 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay. Krug is known as one of Champagne’s most famous houses, and for producing exceptional bottles. Created from Pinot Noir from a very small plot in Ambonnay.

Notes of delicate lemon, pastry, cream and nuts with very fine bubbles. Sip this while enjoying the steamed Maine lobster with drawn butter for a night you will not forget.

Sam, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Rowayton___ 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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