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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan and Robert Tas review the wine list at Salt Seafood and Oyster Bar. A restaurant that serves a fresh, unique menu in a rustic designed space. Michaela offers tantalizing descriptions of tasting notes with aromas of white flowers and citrus, along with notes of tangerine, ripe peach, and tropical fruit, or aromas of ripe cranberries, ripe red cherries, and blackberries, with notes of clove, spice, vanilla, and cocoa and she offers pairing suggestions and wine recommendations.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Dalila Reserva, Viognier and Grillo blend, Sicily

  • 2020 Pago del Vicario, Tempranillo Blanco, Spain

  • 2021 Tsililis, Theopetra Estate Assyrtiko and Malagouzia, Greece

Transcript: Salt Seafood and Oyster Bar




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 list’s 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 Salt Seafood and Oyster Bar in New Brunswick, NJ. Salt celebrates their seasonal, sharable menu, which showcases daily seafood specials and local, farm fresh ingredients.


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


MQ: Salt features an exceptional selection of wine perfect for pairing with their seafood and oysters. Their list is sorted by light to full bodied sections, making their selections even more approachable. We have a number of standout considerations for you today.



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


MQ: The first wine that caught my eye was the 2019 Dalila Reserva, Viognier and Grillo blend from Sicily. This southern Italian white wine is aromatic, medium bodied, and an exceptional pairing for shellfish. Aromas of white flowers and citrus, along with notes of tangerine, ripe peach, and tropical fruit make this wine an excellent way to begin your dining experience.


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 of Oregon. This well balanced Pinot Noir has everything you are looking for in a medium bodied red wine. It begins with aromas of ripe cranberries, ripe red cherries, and blackberries, with notes of clove, spice, vanilla, and cocoa on the finish. Pair this Pinot Noir with herbed and lightly sauced fish.



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 incredible seafood and shellfish on Salt’s menu, is the 2020 Pago del Vicario, Tempranillo Blanco from Spain. Tempranillo is a red grape, however when the juice is extracted from red and white grapes, the juice is always clear. The color comes from contact of the juice and skins of the grape. Therefore, the juice was extracted and sent to stainless steel tanks leaving the skins behind. Showcasing aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, lime zest, grapefruit, and ripe pair, this Tempranillo Blanco is a must try.


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: Another unique, must try white wine that is a perfect companion to Salt’s menu is the 2021 Tsililis, Theopetra Estate Assyrtiko and Malagouzia blend from Central Greece.  This white blend features bright acidity, ripe peach, pear, lime zest, minerality, with a touch of saline on the finish. A crowd pleaser for the table.



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: I love seeing this next wine on wine lists and store shelves because it is always a winner. Consider the 2019 Pieropan Classico from Soave in Italy. This highly rated, organic Northern Italian white wine consists of the Garganega grape and features bright acidity, citrus, and ripe peach, with a mineral and almond/nutty finish. This white wine is an excellent aperitif or to enjoy with shellfish and oysters, all for an exceptional price.


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


MQ: A stand out quality/value red wine to consider is the 2018 Wine and Soul, ‘Manoella’ from the Douro in Portugal. This red blend of Touriga Nacional and Tina Roriz is rich, full bodied, and will pair beautifully with richly sauced proteins and pasta. Ripe blackberries, plumb, fig, and black currant balance with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa, as this blend ages in French oak for 18 months. Another crowd pleasing bottle to share.



RT: For me personally…


MQ: Absolutely!


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 celebrating an event with family, consider a stand out selection from the Antinori family who have been producing wine for over twenty six generations. Their 2018 Tignanello from Tuscany received a 98 point rating from Robert Parker and consists of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Aromatic with notes of violets, licorice, ripe red and black cherries, with a finish of tobacco and leather, this red wine is an excellent companion to any family gathering or special event.



RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Salt Seafood and Oyster Bar’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 cue as quick 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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