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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a trip through the wine list at San Carlo Osteria Piemonte, a contemporary restaurant in Soho that offers a menu focussed on Italy's Piedmont region. Michaela introduces you to the Italian varietals in the wines, explains the tasting notes found in each wine, and identifies the best ones to pair with a few choice items on the menu. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • La Staffa, Verdicchio, Castelli di Jesi “Rincrocca” Riserva, 2017
  •  Balgera, Valgella Riserva Valtellina Superiore, 2017
  • Gianfranco Fino, Primitivo from Salento, 2016
Transcript: San Carlo Osteria Piemonte

San Carlo Osteria Piemonte

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 San Carlo Osteria Piemonte. The name says it all. Stemming from the passion of six friends, San Carlo features cuisine and wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. Stop in and experience classic Italian the next time you are in SoHo.

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

MQ: I am always excited to see which wines are featured from the seemingly endless number of Italian grape varietals. Again, we have some classics, and hopefully new favorites for you from this list.

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

MQ: One of my favorite white wines from Italy is Verdicchio. The 2017, La Staffa, Verdicchio, Castelli di Jesi Rincrocca Riserva, from the Marche (Mar-kay), or calf area of the boot of Italy. It is crisp with bright acidity, citrus, green apple, and a hint of salinity with a mineral finish. This wine is an excellent aperitif, or perfect to pair with light seafood, and charcuterie.

RT: That’s a great start. Did any red wine jump out at you?

MQ: Why not jump straight to the Nebbiolo? One to consider would be the 2017, Balgera, Valgella Riserva Valtellina Superiore Nebbiolo. This Nebbiolo is well balanced with aromas and flavors of strawberries, ripe red cherries, along with smoke, earth, and a hint of rose on the finish with soft tannins. This is a wonderful pairing for pork, roasted chicken, and meat sauces.

RT: That is for sure unique.

So Michaela, their list seems to have lots of range but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try”?

MQ:  Certainly a must-try would be the 2016 Gianfranco Fino, Primitivo from Salento located in Southeast Italy. Primitivo is Italy’s take on Zinfandel. This wine exudes ripe raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, with a bit of nutmeg and coffee on the finish. The Primitivo is an excellent companion to pastas and herbed sauces.

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:  Classic Italian certainly calls for Chianti Classico. One to consider would be the 2017, Tenuta di Arceno, Chianti Classico Riserva. Much like Spanish wine classifications, the Reserva for this Chianti means that the wine has aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels with three months bottle aging before release. This aging showcases the ripe red cherries, blackberries, along with a hint of lavender and tobacco on the finish. This highly rated Sangiovese is a wonderful pairing for meat sauces, and poultry.

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: Of course, I have an option for both our red and white wine fans. The first to consider would be the 2019, Pieropan, Soave Classico. The Garganega grape in this white wine features bright acidity, grapefruit, citrus, with a mineral finish. This is an exceptional wine to pair with shellfish and seafood.

RT: Sounds refreshing. How about that red wine?

MQ: If you are interested in a medium-bodied red wine, one to consider would be the 2018 Ca Viola, Dolcetto d’Alba. The Dolcetto grape expresses ripe red fruit such as plumb, fig, strawberries, and herbs, with a hint of vanilla on the finish, all making it an excellent pairing for pastas, herbed chicken, and pizza.

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: One to consider would the acclaimed 2001 Castello dei Rampolla, Vigna d’Alceo Bordeaux Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Petit Verdot. The family began making wine in the 1960s and wanted to be the first in the area to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. The intense flavors and aromas of ripe red cherries, and cassis join the round tannins to linger on the finish with notes of rosemary and tobacco make this Tuscan a perfect pair with tomato-based sauces and meat dishes. An excellent addition to any event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate San Carlo Osteria Piemonte’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.








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