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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, joins Robert Tas for an exploration of the wine list at STK. STK is a classic steakhouse with locations throughout North America and across the globe. Their wine list features a wide range of renowned, classic producers in addition to value wines, and Grace is right here to identify the rich Spanish reds, crisp whites, and the most legendary champagne producers, in addition to helping you make impeccable pairing choices that will impress your guests and delight the palate. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • Cape Mentelle sauvignon blanc
  • Albarino from Martin Codax
  • 2011 Belle Glos pinot from Sonoma
Transcript: STK


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: Hey hey Robert happy to be here as always

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. So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list. So, Grace today we are chatting about STK - what are your initial thoughts?

GH: Yeah, so STK is one of these modern restaurant concepts that has really taken off. You can find STK’s in a lot of major metropolises, kind of like a hipper version of Fleming’s, no offense to Fleming’s of course - great happy hour!

RT: Hhahaha I totally get what you’re saying. So where would you start us?

GH: So, they have a lot of classic producers, pretty standard for steak houses. They have some personal favorites of mine on there as well. On the white side, if you’re looking for something light, I would go with the Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc. I first had that about 10 years ago and was blown away by how much it tasted like a white Bordeaux, which arguably makes some of the finest sauv blanc in the world. Aromatic and crispy and super delicious. If you wanted a heavier style white, my choice is the chardonnay from Domaine Drouhin Oregon, or DDO as it’s known in the industry. The Drouhins have been making wine in Burgundy forever and the daughter of the family, Veronique, is now the winemaker of their facility in Oregon. I got to meet her a few years ago and spoke perfect French to her and was just like “yessss nailed it” hahah


RT: Ah oui oui madame! Love that story. Where would you steer us when it comes to reds?

GH: Oooo they have a nice red selection - lots of well-known producers, which ya know can sometimes be a relief for some people! sometimes you just don’t want to have to go hunting on the wine list for something you’d like to drink - sometimes you just want to see a name you know you love, order it and enjoy it, ya know? For me personally, that would be the Faust cabernet from Napa. Now usually I am not a Napa cab girl, but this was poured for me a few years ago by an advanced sommelier friend who knew I have a preference for French cab, and let me tell you he did not disappoint. Even though this cab is grown in Napa, it drinks like a French Bordeaux. It’s still big and bold but soft and lush and just divine. I almost always order it if I see it on a menu. And then another good favorite red was on the STK menu - Numanthia, a juicy thick rich red from Spain. The bottle itself is super heavy as well so you know you’re about to get a decadent experience in your glass.

RT: ooooo yum I love those two producers as well. Is it too early to pour a glass?

GH: You’re not drinking already Robert? Isn’t it 5 o clock in New York?

RT: Work first, wine later as we both say hahaha now what are we thinking for some value wines?

GH: For affordable white, I would do the Albarino from Martin Codax - cripsy, oceanic, refreshing. and for red I would pick the 2017 Provence merlot - now I know in the movie sideways, Paul Giama said he’s not drinking any friggin’ merlot, but with all respect, merlot is absolutely delish, especially from Napa. I actually prefer Napa merlots over Napa cabernets! Don’t snap at me I don’t want to hear it hahah

RT: Can’t wait to see the comments section for this one! Hahaha I kid I kid. What would be your pics for those high-ticket items Grace?

GH: Well, I mean, if you’ve got Krug on the menu, it’s a no-brainer. Krug is one of the most legendary champagne producers, and has one of the richer more lush mouth feels when it comes to champagne. And then I’m gonna switch up the game here and recommend a large format bottle! They have a 2011 Belle Glos pinot from Sonoma, and that baby is ready to drink!

RT: Amazing! Thank you so much Grace for helping us navigate the STK wine list.

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.




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