Available on

About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas hit the high spot on Las Vegas Boulevard, Spago, where Grace reviews the 60-page wine list to find the hidden gems, value bottles and celebration wines. Whether you lean towards a delightful white Burgundy, Italian or Spanish reds, or are a firm believer in chardonnay all day, every day, Grace finds the wine that will delight and deliver on expectations. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2002 Krug Reims, Champagne, France

  • 2006 Franz Kunstler, Rheingau, Germany

  • 2015 Gangolff Condrieu, France

Transcript: Spago


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 Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Happy to be here as always 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 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. Today we will be reviewing the crown jewel in the Wolfgang Puck portfolio, the iconic Spago. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts Grace. 

GH: Thanks Robert! Quick story about the Spago. Back in 2012, I took my sommelier tests at the Montage Beverly Hills, which is right down the street from Spago. When you take the sommelier tests, they are administered by Master sommeliers, and one of the somms teaching our class and proctoring our exams was none other than Christopher Miller, who at the time was the wine director of Spago. I see so much of his influence on this wine list, so excited to dive into it.

RT: Dive in we shall! Where would you like to start?

GH: Oh man well at 60 pages, this wine list isn't so much a list but a small novel haha but of course we will start with sparkling! If you’re looking for a traditional small production boutique style non-vintage champagne, I would go with this première Cru Vilmart and Cie. Or if you’re into champagne with a little age on it, you could do the 2002 Krug Reims.

RT: Two great calls. Can't go wrong with either of those. What is sticking out to you when it comes to white wine?

GH: Well, they basically have every classic style you could ask for here at Spago! But they especially love their Riesling  - they have a full 5 pages dedicated to it. And that’s such a sommelier niche thing to do. We’re notorious for loving Riesling. One of our fellow Cork Rules sommeliers Alexis is a Riesling fanatic! On the Spago list, I would go for 2006 Franz Kunstler from Rheingau if you want a German Reisling, the 2011 Trimbach if you want an Alsatian Riesling, or the 2013 from Domaine Wachau if you’re feeling Austrian.

RT: Resiling from everywhere for everyone. We love to see it. Now how about something more medium bodied for our white wine drinkers who might not be into Riesling as much as Alexis is?

GH: hahahah we love you Alexis! Some other outstanding whites on the Spago menu mmmm I’m loving the look of this 2015 Chateau Palmer which is a white Bordeaux. Another stand out 2015 from France would be this Gangolff Condrieu which is viognier from the Rhone Valley, and it drinks like liquid gold.


RT: Liquid gold sounds too good to be true. But I totally see that. Speaking of liquid gold, we can’t forget out chardonnay drinkers.

GH: Oh, I would never dream of it hahah for our chardonnay fans, we’ve got some classics for sure. The Spago menu has a small selection called the Wolfgang Puck Wine Collaborative which are wines that are only created for Wolfgang Puck establishments, so definitely a special selection list! They have a 2015 Paul Lato Chardonnay from the Santa Maria Valley which would definitely appease any American chardonnay fan.

RT: Oh how fun. I love trying specialty projects. Such a unique experience. Alright Grace – where do we start when it comes to red wine on the Spago list?

GH: Starting off light with the wine love of my life pinot noir – my Oregon pick would be the 2016 Lingua Franca from the lovely and talented Larry Stone. My california pick would be this 2012 Aubert from the Sonoma Coast. And my Burgundy pick would be 2011 Benjamin Leroux Volnay.

RT: Wow those are some beautiful wines. Great choices as always Grace. I know you’ll never steer us wrong with pinot noir. How about some medium bodied reds? I know you love your syrahs as well. 

GH: I sure do Robert! For a California syrah, it’s going to have to be this 2012 Sine Qua non Touche. My Washington pick would be the 2007 Bionic Frog from Cayuse. And for France, I would do this 2005 Chateau de Fonsalette from the Cotes du Rhone

RT: Love the sound of those. Anything inspiring you in the Italian and Spanish section?

GH: Oh for sure! For Italian - I’m loving the look of this 2006 Barolo Monfortino from Giacomo Conterno. And for Spanish, gonna have to be a classic – a 2002 Bega Silicia Unico.

RT: Oh wow either of those would be out of this world. Now what are we thinking for cabernet? They probably have pages and pages at Spago

GH: Oh they sure do Robert! So much good wine to choose from. But I’m gonna go with two 1999 vintages - the Harlan Estate from California, and the premier cru from Château Mouton Rothschild.

RT: Killer choices as always. Grace, thank you so much for helping us navigate the wine list at Spago.  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. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.


Thank you.






Want to request a Restaurant?

Interested in having a restaurant’s wine list featured in a future podcast episode? Let us know here.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!