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About this Episode

Maria Valetta, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas take a trip to Spago where they go through the 60-page menu to find a few select bottles for you to try. In addition to a stellar range of rieslings, they offer a delicious range of chardonnays, and white Bordeaux wines.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Pinot Gris, Domaine Schlumberger, Alsace 

  • 2019 Rose, Paul Lato, Santa Barbara, California 

  • 2014 Jean Claude Boisset, Vosne Romanée "Les Jacquines"

Transcript: Spago

Spago LV Bellagio Hotel and Casino

RT): Hello and welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists so you can learn to order wine with confidence.

I’m Robert Tas, along with Maria Valetta, Wine Educator, and Certified Sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde. Welcome back Maria

MV: Hello Robert!

RT: It sure is, but before we get started, let’s talk about CorkRules. CorkRules was created to help you navigate the wine list with confidence so you will always love the wine you drink. With CorkRules in hand, you can easily select wines from your favorite restaurant wine lists based on your preferences of flavor, style, region, and even price! Plus, you can check out which wines your friends ordered and try them yourself. Want to get started? Our podcast wine list reviews are here to help you find those hidden gems, value wines, and those special celebration-worthy bottles on the list. So be sure to listen and check out what our Top Sommeliers recommend at your favorite restaurant.

RT: Today we are reviewing the wine list from Spago LAS VEGAS IN THE BELLAGIO HOTEL AND CASINO

MV:  Wolfgang Puck’s legendary flagship fine dining restaurant within the Via Bellagio shopping promenade features globally influenced, seasonal market-driven fare served with a side of superior attentive service. The Design is inspired by Spago’s original flagship location in Beverly Hills is a true modern affair with rich leather chairs and couches, oak wood floors, exquisite bright golden fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling floating glass windows. But may we suggest that you secure a spot on the coveted al fresco patio which gets you up close and almost in arm’s reach of the captivating dancing Bellagio fountains. It is one of the most Instagram worthy backdrops in Vegas, so you should always have your camera ready, especially since the famous chef himself regularly makes appearances. On the diverse menu expect delicate handmade pastas, charcoal grilled steaks, and signature Puck dishes such as the Smoked Salmon Pizza and Chinois Chicken Salad alongside handcrafted cocktails and a robust international wine list.

RT: Maria, I know you spend a lot of time at this beautiful restaurant, tell us more about the wine list.

MV: Robert this list excellent. I try something new every time we go here. For the wines by the glass, they offer 2 sizes, a generous 6 oz pour and a hefty  Vegas sized pour of 9 oz . And I love how many bottle options they have for under $150 no matter your budget you can find a wine you will love to drink here.

RT: Maria, let’s make some selections from that by-the-glass list.

RT: Yes, Robert I think a perfect place to start is the Grüner Veltliner - Domäne Wachau, "Federspiel" from Wolfgang’s home country of Austria 2018 [15676] 14/21

I love this producer and rarely see this wine offered by the glass, it is going to be the most versatile option, perfect with the Smoked Salmon Pizza,  the green apple, whiffs of herbs and touches of herbal white pepper )signature of Gruner Veltliner, is also an ideal pairing with Austrian cuisine, so Puck’s Veal 'Wiener Schnitzel' entrée with Baby Arugula, is going to just pop-off with this wine!

RT: And do you have a favorite red by the glass:

MV: Some really great options here, but what is catching my eye is the Syrah- The Talley "Rincon Vineyard", from Arroyo Grande Valley, in California 2018 

16 for a 6 oz pour is a great price point. Remember we are in vegas …This single vineyard Syrah is going to be bursting with cracked pepper, Macerated Strawberries, Blueberries, some charcuterie notes and will drink much more like a Northern Rhone wine than a California wine, so  a little more earthy, if you are having the Colorado Lamb Rack* with Vadouvan Spice, and Eggplant Curry, this wine will stand up to all of that flavor.

RT: Sounds very enticing Maria, on to value bottles for our listeners, what do you suggest?

MV: For a white, I would suggest the Pinot Gris, Domaine Schlumberger, Alsace  FR 2018 Super food friendly, this is a nice dry classic Pinot Gris, remember pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, but in Alsace they always call it Pinot Gris and the wine shows spicier notes and has a rounder, fuller weight in the mouth than the light, crisp, high acid Italian PGs. pretty much a perfect pairing with all the appetizers on the menu, and it will really standout with the Asian style steamed halibut entrée.

MV: I’d also like to touch on a value Rose, Paul Lato, Santa Barbara, California 2019 as Spago is THE most perfect Brunch spot. This gorgeous rose made from Pinot Noir  and is like biting into a fresh slice of watermelon but without all the sugar. Perfect for sitting outside and watching those fountains dance in the daylight.

RT: And we know you have a great red for us.

MV: I sure do, a fantastic value Cabernet under $75 , the Amavi, Columbia Valley 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. $72. The Amavi winery is located in Washington State, I love this winery and their philosophy 100% estate wines, and certified sustainable, (they care about the health of the soil)  incredible vineyards, plus lots of accolades! This is a velvety rich walla walla valley cab worthy of the white oak and charcoal-fired steaks non the menu.

RT: WOW – what a great find! A steal honestly!

MV: yes … I first had their Semillon and that’s what made me fall in love with this winery. It blew my mind!

RT: Cool – Well Maria Spago is a pretty specatular spot, I am sure they see many celebrations, Anniversaries, and birthdays, so I think we should move on to the wines that will be worthy of such celebrations!

MV: Indeed… Let me suggest a lighter-bodied red and a fuller-bodied red

RT: I like that. idea, .


MV: I would highly recommend the Jean Claude Boisset, Vosne Romanée "Les Jacquines" 2014 From one of the genius winemakers in burgundy France, Production is quite limited, and here it is all in the details, his philosophy is to "let the vine do the work". Remember this village in Burgundy is where the most coveted wines come from. Boisset, has really been transformed since Jean Claude’s son Jean-Charles Boisset took over the business. he is so fun to follow on instagram. You should find this wine intensely floral, lots of roses and some exotic spice, complex for sure. And remember when we are talking about red burgundy here we are talking about the Pinot Noir grape!

What would you pair with this wine maria?

MV: Wolfgang’s Roasted Half Jidori Chicken  with Wild Mushrooms, Anson Mills Polenta, Natural Jus. I’m not usually a chicken orderer… I mean I cook a lot of chicken at home so I usually want something more interesting, but this chicken is real a comfort food dish and not too heavy. Plus Pinot and mushrooms…love to mingle! Magical really.

RT: Makes me want to order that chicken… Now for that bigger bolder wine?

I’m going to say the Staglin, Napa Valley 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon]  $450  and I know that this is another Cab, well actually it does have 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot in it, but mostly cab, and that is because California labeling laws only require a wine to be 75% of that grape for it to be labeled as a single variety, the other 25% can be any other grape.

But back to Staglin, This is a special property, The proprietors Shari, and Garen and their adult children are kind, warm, welcoming and generous, they have an amazing property filled with really interesting art. This family truly cares about the estate, the wines,the land,(Cert Organic )  and giving back to the community, their motto being Great wines for great causes”,

RT: I really like to see these wineries being philanthropic.

MV; I do too,  a reason alone to buy this wine. Plus this 2015 is going to be Rich, round, layered and opulent and will be the perfect wine to slowly sip as you gaze at the glittering Paris Casino Eiffel tower across the way and watch the fountains sway the night away.

RT: This was fantastic Maria! I’m ready for a Vegas Vacation now! Thank you for all of your wine highlights from Spago’s wine list.

Be sure to follow Maria on Instagram @Mariathewineblonde. Thank you everyone for joining us here on CorkRules. Remember the only rule in wine is “drink what you LOVE”.

MV: Have a favorite wine List? Let us review it here. Send us your requests at info@CorkRules.com You can find previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform and on

The CorkRules website. Be sure to follow @CorkRules on Instagram for episode and app updates Must be 21 and older, please drink responsibly.




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