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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan and host Robert Tas visit the legendary Serafina Osteria 58th on Upper East side. This restaurant upholds their brand promise of providing the highest quality food in a social and welcoming atmosphere. Their recipe for success is simply an authentic approach to Italian cuisine made from the very best ingredients from around the world. And their wine list offers unique Italian wines, along with some classics. Michaela identifies the gems on the list, pairing suggestions and the best bottle to choose for a special occasion. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi
  • 2017 Sera Vino Syrah from Tuscany
  • 2017 Feudi del Picsiotto Nero d’Avola
Transcript: Serafina Osteria

Serafina Oesteria

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 Serafina’s Osteria 58th. With 14 locations in NY alone, and around the world reaching three continents, this homestyle Italian eatery has staying power, along with a great backstory.

The owners were sailing and were lost at sea in a small boat. While waiting for help, they dreamed about the perfect pizza and promised to open a restaurant together once they were rescued. They were saved and kept their promise opening the first Serafina in the Upper East Side in 1995.

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

MQ: I love that story. I find myself daydreaming about pizza on occasion, but certainly in far less treacherous situations! My mind then shifts to wine. We have another lineup of unique Italian wines, along with some classics for you today.

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

MQ: Why not begin in the Piedmont with one of my favorite light, white wines. The 2019 Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi. The grape is Garganega from Gavi, a subregion of Piedmont. It showcases bright minerality, citrus, peach, and apricot, with a hint of saline and a mineral finish. This is another refreshing aperitif, and pairs well with charcuterie and shellfish. 

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

MQ: Another crowd pleaser is the 2017 Il Palazzo Chianti Classico. This medium-bodied Sangiovese features aromas of blueberries, red cherries, and fig, with a smooth finish of earth and vanilla. A perfect complement to pizza and pasta.

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:  A must-try is the 2017 Sera Vino Syrah from Tuscany. I was excited to see a syrah from Tuscany on this menu. Of course, a classic wine region is going to produce elegant wines. This Tuscan syrah is similar in style to syrah of Northern Rhone with its blackberries and blueberries that balance herbs, clove and that touch of pepper. A perfect companion to anything smoked, grilled, or with a rich sauce.

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:  Absolutely! Another crowd pleaser and must-try is the 2017 Feudi del Pisciotto Nero d’Avola. The Nero d’Avola is a medium to full-bodied, red grape from Sicily that features flavors and aromas of blackberries, black cherries, with a hint of licorice and vanilla on the finish. Another unique grape to entertain when pairing pasta and beef dishes.

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: We have been featuring a number of rich, red wines, so let’s consider a lighter white wine. The 202 Antinori Vermentino Guado al Tasso. The Antinori family has been producing wines in central Italy for over six centuries. So, they know a thing or two about creating quality wine. This Vermentino is light and bright with crisp acidity, bright citrus and grapefruit, along with ripe apricot and a mineral finish. Another perfect pairing for shellfish, light seafood, and charcuterie.

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 true classic, look no further than the 2017 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia. This is the flagship wine for Tenuta San Guido located in the Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC – designation of controlled origin – in Tuscany, one of the first Super Tuscans consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon and a splash of cabernet franc. The winery began producing cabernet sauvignon in 1948 and the first vintages of Sassicaia were only meant for personal consumption with the first public vintage of 1968 then became known as an instant classic. This rich, complex wine showcases plumb, blackberries, and fig, with smooth tannins and a finish featuring licorice and tobacco. A spectacular addition to any special occasion.

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