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About this Episode

Certified Sommelier Maria Valetta is back and joins Robert to explore the wine list at Via Carota, in New York's West Village. Inspired by the 17th-century villa in the hills near Florence which Sodi once called home, Via Carota honors old-world Italian roots, lifestyle, food, wine and décor.  

Wines reviewed include:

  • Roero Arneis 2020 by Vietti
  • Pentri Beneventano Flora Falanghina 2018
  • Barbera d’Alba Scudetto 2018
Transcript: Via Carota

Via Carota

RT: Hello and welcome back to CorkRules! The wine podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate ALL your favorite restaurant wine lists!

I’m Robert Tas along with Maria Valetta Certified Sommelier and Wine educator. Hello Maria!

MV: Hi Robert..we are taking a taste-bud trip to Italy today…

RT: yes that’s right Maria, today we are reviewing the wine list from Via Carota.

Via Carota is a quaint Italian Gastroteca in the West Village of NYC run by 2 self-taught chefs Jodi Williams and Rita Sodi, who both have acclaimed restaurants individually.

Via Carota, is their first joint venture,  it’s a walk-in only restaurant, inspired by Chef Soti’s 17th-century family country house in the hills near Florence. Both Jodi and Rita connected over their passion for ALLl things Italian and their shared attention to detail. It is a place you return to over and over again knowing that it is WELL worth the wait to settle into one of the rustic wooden tables and dig into a bowl of cacio pepe Tonarelli (or insert fav pasta dish here) while sipping an interesting wine from one of the lesser-known wine regions of Italy.

RT: Maria, what do you think of their ALL Italian Wine List?

MV: Well to be fair... there are a few champagnes on the list so we see France having a small representation and I think that’s always a good choice, but everything else IS Italian and I love that because Italian wines have a special place in my heart.

RT: Why is that?

MV: well, they have so many interesting varietals to discover and try, each of the 20 regions growing their own indigenous grapes. So much to discover, try and learn about… I love hosting Italian wine events!

RT: do you see a lot of those interesting grapes here?

MV: A ton! They have done an excellent job of curating a list of wines and grapes I bet you have never tried before…Arneis Teraldego, Nero d’avola Ribolla Gialla Erbaluce, Freisia Cannonau,  

RT: wow… yeah, not familiar with most of those but I’m always up for trying something new.. where would I start?

MV: well their food menu has so many wonderful choices so as you peruse, order a glass of the Roero Arneis 2020 by Vietti as you decide on how many dishes you are going to try! LOL! You may have seen his red wines from this producer, but this is an indigenous WHITE grape from Piedmont (the NW of Italy) and I always have a few bottles of Arneis in my cellar because it pairs well with so many Italian starters… from Bruschetta to Antipasti to simple thinly sliced prosciutto the crisp zesty full-flavor of the Arneis grape is the perfect starting point.

RT: Ahhh you had me at Prosciutto…  Now, what about bottles.. because it sounds like a bottle of white may be called for here?

MV: This is hard… there are so many Italian wines I want everyone to try! I mean you could certainly order a bottle of the Arneis.. that's never a bad idea.. haha... but There’s more to choose from with the bottles then BTG, I see a lovely bottle of white they have on the list… one that you would definitely be drinking if you were on vacation in Italy staying in the famous area of Positano I Pentri Beneventano Flora Falanghina 2018 perfect for the summer months…bright stone fruits, with a fresh. lemony finish it would be lovely with the extensive verdure  (VAYDORA) vegetable selection of the food menu.

RT: Comment on Positano/Vegetable dishes/ Or wiliness to go for the white, and what about a GEM here something more reasonable but at the same time exceptional.

MV: here you go…Robert…  they have a few wines from Guiseppe Mascarello… a family-owned winery in Piedmont (same area as Arneis) and the family is still making the wines in the same traditional way Guiseppe did. Now their Barolos on a wine menu would fetch a very high price IF YOU CAN EVEN FIND THEM… but here they offer their Freisa Toretto 2019 for under $100 and the Barbera d’Alba Scudetto 2018, at $125. Now the Freisa will be a lighter, red-bodied wine than the Barbera, but both are lovely options with the menu offerings at Via Carota and you get to try something different!

RT: Sounds like a win-win all around with this producer…

MV: 100 percent.

RT: now we can’t conclude without a suggestion for a killer Italian wine to make it most memorable, what would you choose Maria?

MV: I’ll be honest- it’s rare if I ever order the most expensive wine on the menu, but here I would...

RT: Really?

MV: yes because first of all we are still looking at their most expensive wine being under $300

RT:(versus thousands on some lists…)

MV: RIGHT! and secondly, they have one of my favs.. The Sesti Brunello di Montalcino Phenomena 2015. My hubby and I got married in the Tuscan town of Montalcino, so we drink Brunellos a lot (all Brunellos are Sangiovese, the Grosso clone in particular)… the Phenomena is basically Sesti’s Riserva selection and the label has this cosmic cool look that changes each year. It’s stunning, - rich dark and full-bodied.. but won’t overpower Via’s food. I just love the Sesti winery.

RT: So You’ve been there?

MV: Yes, and I am hoping to go back this summer now that we can travel again!

RT: finally! I’m looking forward to…

RT: Well thank you Maria for all your Italian wine knowledge and to all of you for joining us today. Next time you dine at Via Carota, be sure to tell them you found them on the Corkrules APP. And Remember, the ONLY rule in wine is “drink what YOU LOVE”!

MV: Have a favorite wine List? Let us review it here on CorkRules. Send us your requests at info@corkrules.com and remember to check out all our previous episodes on CorkRules.com.


























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