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About this Episode

Grace Hood, certified sommelier and wine educator, and Robert Tas go downtown to Brentwood in West Los Angeles to review the wine list at Toscana. Toscana is a neighborhood trattoria that celebrates the rustic, authentic, farm-to-table flavors of Northern Italy, and they have a superb selection of Italian, French, and American wines to complement the menu.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Jermann Friuli Pinot Grigio, Italy

  • 2019 Paul Hobbs, Russian River Valley, California

  • 2018 Brunello di Montalcino, Saldero

Transcript: Toscana


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!

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 Grace and I are reviewing Brentwood hot spot Toscana. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

GH: Another day, another Italian wine list! Hahah This spot def leans into their Italian roots, and then have some nice selections for French and American wines as well   

RT: Love the sound of it. Shall I assume we will be starting with bubbly!

GH: You know me too well Robert! So, under their sparkling category, they have a section dedicated to one Italian vineyard in particular – Franciacorta. If it was me, I would do with their Ca del Bosco Cuvee Prestige or their Secolo Novo 2008 vintage.  

RT: Yum love the sound of either of those.

GH: But if you’re not feeling too adventurous then they have some lovely classic champagnes as well. I would go the 2015 Pol Roger brut rose or the Krug Grand Cuvee 170 special Editions

RT: Great choices. Can’t go wrong with any of those. Now how are they looking for whites?

GH: If you’re feeling like sticking with the Italian theme, I would choose the 2019 Jermann Friuli Pinot Grigio, the 2019 Pieropan Soave Classico or the 2019 Antinori Chardonnay from Umbria. Gave y’all some variety there!

RT: You certainly have. What do they have for non-Italian whites?

GH: We’ve got California options! For something lighter you could go with 2018 Grenache Blanc from the Loomis vineyard, or if you wanna go classic California Chardonnay, you could do the 2020 Flowers from Sonoma Coast, or the 2019 Paul Hobbs from Russian River Valley.

RT: Love those choices. Thanks for that Grace. Can’t wait to hear your picks for the reds.    

GH: Hahah you got it, Robert. Looking into the Italian reds, wow they have really gotten into details here! Starting off with Barbera – my pick would be the 2000 from Braida in the Asti region. Then moving right along in my personal favorite, Barolo. I would go with the 2013 Bovio Reserva.  

RT: Let me guess…is Barbaresco next?   

GH: It absolutely is Robert! Good guess haha and my pick would be this 2014 Bruno Giacoso which I have had before and is very good.

RT: Love it. How about some Rosso’s and Brunello’s?

GH: Coming right up! My pick for Rosso di Montalcino would be 2016 Tassi and my Brunello di Montalcino pick would be 2008 Saldero.

RT: Wow those sound superb! Which brings us to super Tuscans?

GH: You know it does Robert! This is definitely the biggest category on the list. But my top two picks for super Tuscans would be 2011 Podere or the 2014 Corte Alla Flora

RT: Love it. And how about a California pick for our non-Italian drinkers?

GH: Oh I’m gonna hit you with some personal favorites. The 2006 sine qua non “shot in the dark”, the 2014 Calera Pinot Noir, and they’ve got a 2012 Harlan estate. Thank me later friends!  

RT: Grace, thank you so much for helping us navigate the wine list at Toscana.  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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