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About this Episode

Tina Johansson, WSET Diploma Graduate and Michelin restaurant sommelier, and Robert Tas review the wine list at Wally’s in Santa Monica where, in addition to a carefully curated wine list with over 100 wines by-the-glass, they offer everything from lunch, brunch and dinner to exclusive caviar events, a gourmet shop selling cheese and chocolate and even a bar with rare spirits. But we’re here for the wine, and Tina kicks off with a review of the bubbles on the list before moving on to wines from Spain and a fabulous, light and floral barolo.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2017 Veronica Ortega CAL, Bierzo, Spain

  • 2017 Burlotto Monvigliero, Spain

  • 2014 Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvee, France

Transcript: Wally's

Cork Rules Script

Wally’s Santa Monica


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules!

I’m your host Robert Tas along with Tina Johansson, WSET Diploma Graduate and Michelin restaurant sommelier.


Hi Tina, thanks for being back with us on another episode of CorkRules, - a podcast where we help simplify and demystify the wine lists at some of your favorite restaurants. We talk with certified sommeliers and wine professionals who point out interesting bottles, classic food and wine pairings, hidden gems, value wines, or splurge wines that will take your dining experience over the top.


TJ: Thank you Robert! Happy to be back and dive into the wines of Wally’s in Santa Monica, California. It’s one of three locations, the other two being in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. Wally’s is quite the special place since they offer everything from lunch, brunch and dinner to exclusive caviar events, a gourmet shop selling cheese and chocolate and even a bar with rare spirits.


RT: Yes, it’s a real versatile restaurant and so is their menu. Plenty of choices, and all sounds fantastic. How about grilled octopus with chorizo, artichoke hummus or braised rabbit with chantarelles? I wouldn’t say no to any of those right now.


TJ: Yes, and besides the big and very tasty menu they also offer over 100 wines by the glass! Perfect place to visit if you are a somm in the making or don’t know exactly what you’re in the mood for. I’m equally excited about the food as I am for the wine!


RT: Yes, I love restaurants with plenty of choices by the glass. So what about the list by the bottle then? Is it equally big?


TJ: It is! So much to choose from, I don’t even know where to start. Maybe with something sparkling? I’m a big fan of champagne and since they’re often listed at the start of the wine list I don’t always make it past those pages. They have a lot of the big names like Krug, Salon and Dom Perignon, but my personal choice would be the 2014 Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvee made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s both fresh and creamy at the same time which I love.


RT: I agree, that makes a champagne a lot more food friendly. Great bottle! So I see the starters here at Wally’s hold a lot of seasonal vegetables like grilled asparagus and Moroccan cauliflower, would you pair that with a nice white perhaps?


TJ: I would! In a place like this they carry a lot of the best names in classic regions like Burgundy, but I see one of my favourite labels from Spain on the list. It’s the 2017 Veronica Ortega CAL, a beautiful Godello from Bierzo in the north western part of Spain. It’s a fresh but intense wine from a very up and coming female winemaker. That’s what I would drink with the food here!


RT: Well it’s always fun to try something new! And a white from Spain, maybe not the most common pick. It really is an emerging wine category at the moment.


TJ: No I know, Spain have a lot of big reds but the whites are not as well know yet!


RT: Ok so for our last bottle, what do you think Tina? Could you recommend a special bottle of red perhaps as a cherry on top of the other great wines you’ve recommended so far?


TJ: Of course, if you’re here for a celebration they have numerous bottles for a great night! Maybe something more classic that you can’t always get a hold of. I’d have the 2017 Burlotto Monvigliero, a very delicate and floral Barolo. It’s very elegant and perfumed, but so intense. It’s the kind of bottle that is equally nice to sniff on as it is to drink. Just fabulous


RT: Wow, now I can’t wait to go to Wally’s for a great night. Thank you for being back with us Tina.

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 wherever you get your podcasts.


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




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