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About this Episode

Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore the wine list at SPQR, a restaurant named after the acronym which was the emblem of the Roman Empire. With a name like this, it is no surprise that the menu and wine list are informed by Italian traditions. In addition to great value wines and wines that will turn a few heads, Grant spots a few stellar Italian white wines on the menu that will pair well with many of the Italian-inspired dishes on the menu.

Wines reviewed include:

  • “Monte Grande” Soave Classico by Pra
  • Malvira ‘Rive Guache’ brut rose Metodo Charmat
  • 2010 Conterno “Monfortino” Monforte d’Alba
Transcript: SPQR


RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grant Wood, wine educator and certified sommelier

Hello Grant, great to have you back for another great wine list.

GW: Hello 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 wine lists can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, 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: Here we have another Michelin-starred Italian eatery located on Fillmore st in SF by famed chef, Mathew Accarino who is creating so much buzz with his modern Italian-inspired meals. They have an extensive menu and a wonderful wine list to match. Let’s dive in and see what excites us today.

SO by the glass I’d start with the Ca di Rajo, Prosecco di Valdobbiadine, extra dry from the Veneto which is my favorite sub-region of Prosecco and always delivers.

For a great white, I’d go for the “Monte Grande’ Soave Classico by Pra which is made from the garganega grape and I think is a really underappreciated region for Italian whites.

For a solid red, I’d go for the 2018 Prunotto ‘Occhetti’ Nebbiolo from the Langhe which is delicious and a great value.

Moving things on to the wines by the bottle let’s start with the Ferrari Brut from Trento which is 100% Chardonnay made in the Metodo Classico as is a great value on their list as well but the Malvira ‘Rive Guache’ brut rose Metodo Charmat which is sparkling Nebbiolo which is very uncommon.

Time for whites, I’d go for the E. Walch ‘Kristallberg’ Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige which is always fun and easy to match with food. Heading further south, I like the 2018 La Staffa ‘Rincrocca’ Verdicchio from the Marche but I also wouldn’t pass on the 2019 Ciro Biondi ‘Pianta’  Etna Bianco which is a blend of Carricante/Cataratto/Minnella in Sichilia which is another fun banger to get things going. If you’re feeling rose then definitely try the 2017 Cirelli Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a great wine for summer.

Moving on to reds, we have a lot to choose from so let’s start from the North and work our way south. Starting strong I’d go for the 2012 Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella which is always a favorite of mine from the Veneto.

A great classic and also a great value is the 2015 Ronchi di Cialla Refosco from Colli Orientali in Friuli which is earthy and food friendly.

Robert, I know you like Barolo so let me suggest the 2018 Oddero from La Morra which is a classic but if you really wanna ball out the go for the 2010 Conterno ‘Monfortino’ Monforte d’Alba if you really want to turn some heads.

Heading further south, I always love the Paolo Bea ‘Cerrete’ Sagrantino di Montalcino coming out of Umbria which I just love this producer who is making honest, meaningful wines of pure personality.

If you want a solid Chianti then the 2017 Pomona Chianti Classico is a great wine for the table. Now looking at Sichilia, try the 2018 Girolano Russo ‘San Lorenzo’ Etna Rosso from Catania which is classic Nerello Mascalese.

If you want something local then I have to recommend the 2017 Enfield “Haynes Vineyard’ Syrah which is a favorite of mine since I grew up down the street from the vineyard but I also love the 2018 Hirsch Vineyards ‘San Andreas Fault’ Sonoma coast Pinot Noir.

Lastly, let’s finish with something sweet. I think the 2015 Bussola Recioto della Valpolicella Classico would the perfect close to a fabulous meal at SPQR.


Grant, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate spqr’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try your great suggestions.   

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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