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About this Episode

Samantha Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas bring the good vibrations of the California-inspired restaurant Upland. Upland’s menu is all about following the seasons and while the vibes are CA forward, the wine list is truly global. Sam introduces a  biodynamic wine from California and explains what that means in terms of wine and terroir, in addition to pointing out a stellar special occasion wine.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2014 Holus Bolus
  • 2014 Torbreck Runrig from the Barossa Valley
  • 2006 Ridge Monte Bello
Transcript: Upland


RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Samantha Hohl, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Sam, it’s great to have you back on our CorkRules episode!

SH: Hey Robert!

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules.  We created CorkRules to help demystify wine list’s 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 today we’re talking about Upland. This is a cool place with CA vibes, the dining room has high ceilings and hardwood floors and great place for a group dinner.

So, Sam tell us a little about this place?


Upland’s menu is California-inspired and focuses on rustic and seasonal creations. They’ve got a great selection of pizzas, starter plates, pastas and entrees crafted with various vegetables, legumes and fruits. The wine menu is curated to complement the multitude of flavors going on in these dishes.

Stand Outs

Upland’s wine list has classic selections for whatever your favorite wine may be, along with a robust selection from California. They have traditional favorites covered, but also have some fun surprises and rare finds on their menu. 

If you’re looking for a white wine to try, check out the 2014 Holus Bolus, made from 100% roussanne grapes from the Santa Maria Valley in California. This white is floral with notes of herbal tea and yellow apple. It’s complex and rich, while clean on the palate. It’s also a biodynamic wine, so the winemakers treat the vineyard as an ecosystem where all the parts contribute to each other. It also means they use no chemicals or pesticides. This wine is great with roasted vegetables, so check out the vegetable plates including roasted heirloom carrots or the crusted cauliflower entree.

An unusual red find would be the 2014 Torbreck Runrig from the Barossa Valley. This wine is primarily shiraz with a little viognier blended in! This style of blending red with some white originated in the Rhone Valley and has spread to places like California and Australia, where this bottle comes from. The result is this aromatic wine with great structure and silky on the palate. It has notes of deep red fruit, chocolate, hints of cinnamon, and blackberry.

Value Bottles

A great value bottle that stood out was the 2016 Ronco dei Tassi Fosarin. This Northern Italian white blend is super food friendly- it’s crisp, grassy, herbaceous and citrusy. It would be great with shellfish, pasta or fish. A great pairing would be with their Spaghetti Puttanesca!


If you’re looking for a special wine to toast over you might try the 2006 Ridge Monte Bello. This Bordeaux red blend from Santa Cruz, California is big, rich and silky. This wine is named after the vineyard the grapes come from, and the winemakers strive to highlight their unique terroir. Three factors of their land that contribute to the taste in their wines are the fractured limestone soil, the elevation of their vineyard, and the proximity to the Pacific and San Francisco bay. These growing conditions add to the character of the wine. The 2006 Monte Bello has notes of cassis, black plum, subtle smoke and spices. It has great minerality and chalky tannins. It would be wonderful with the beef short rib. This wine is definitely a celebration all its own!

RT:. Thank you, Sam, for helping us navigate the wine list at Upland

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

Thank you.








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