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About this Episode

Robert Tas talks wine with Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde on Instagram. If you have ever wondered what to wine to pair with Southern Fried Chicken or ST. Louis Ribs, this is the episode for you. Maria includes an English sparkling wine, an award-winning cabernet franc, and an insanely delicious Burgundy. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Chalk Hill Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay, California

  • 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek

  • 2016 The Mascot, Napa Valley

Transcript: Yardbird

Yardbird Venetian


Wine list







RT): Hi Everyone, welcome back to CorkRules! The wine APP AND podcast that’s here to help YOU navigate all your favorite restaurant wine lists.

I’m your host, Robert Tas, along with Maria Valetta, wine educator, and certified sommelier, also known as Maria The Wine Blonde on Instagram. Welcome back Maria


MV: Hi Robert! Hi everyone.. stick around because today's episode is all about comfort food!


RT:  That’s right Maria, We are talking about Yardbird Las Vegas in the Venetian hotel and casino. Classic southern comfort food is the kind of food that brings people together and that’s exactly what Yardbird restaurant is all about. Their famous 27-hour brined, fried chicken is a must-try and so is their over-the-top,

all-American, weekend brunch! Maria I can’t wait to see which wines you pair with Fried Chicken!


MV: haha! This is going to be fun! So if you like your Yardbird fried chicken dipped in their Honey Hot sauce… , then go for a glass of the Champagne Brut - Drappier Carte d’Or France NV  it will cut the spice real nice,  but if you like your bird just simply crunchy then I would say go for the Chalk Hill Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay California 2020 15 which would also go well with that buttery skillet cornbread!


RT: And how about something for those ST. Louis Ribs ?


MV: For those, a glass of The Paring Pinot Noir - Santa Barbara, California 2018 for a lighter bodied wine that always over-delivers or the Merlot Blend - Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvée Sonoma County, California 2018 15 personally I’d go with the gunbun whoever said no more merlot hasn’t has good merlot!


RT: Now I know this spot is known for their Bourbon but they have to have a decent wine bottle list too I would guess?


MV : They do! They have about 150 options by the bottle and all ranges of prices… which is great. They label the sections differently.. instead of  just old world and new world they also add in a section called homeland, so homeland whites and homeland reds…which are all wines from the US, Washington, Oregon, California and even Virginia.  For some reason New world white wine section has German and Austrian wines but those are very much old world wine producing regions and so that would be the one tweak I would make is moving them to the old world white section to be listed among France, Italy and Spain


RT: Yes that makes more sense, It’s always important to clarify things for our listeners.

So sounds like they have wines from all over what are the standout value wines?


MV: So this really got me excited, they have a Sparkling wine made in the traditional method (so champagne style) but it’s from England, it’s the Chapel Down Classic Brut Kent nv 89


RT: really? How cool!


MV: yes! Finally! I’ve been waiting for the English sparklers to hit the wine lists here in Las Vegas so bravo Yardbird! When we were visiting London we had a chance to try a few sparklers from England and I am telling you this is going to be the next great sparkling wine region it's going to give champagne a run for its money. and again going to be so awesome with the fried chicken and waffles …all those bubbles are going to help cut through the grease., lift and lighten your palate and cleanse it for your very next bite and it’s a steal of a price


RT: that’s a paring I can get behind.. any other good pairings?


MV: Now you mentioned Ribs before.. my hubby loves some smoked & slow-cooked ribs and the Ridge Lytton Springs dry creek 2018 is going to be a killer bottle option for that hickory smoked goodness. This wine is a field blend of mostly Zinfandel with some Petite Syrah and a few other complementary grape varietals. Lots of beautiful fruit expression here, and full-bodied with plush tannins. (find it under the petite syrah heading)


RT: Sounds delicious. Anything else really interesting? you said Virginia earlier and that got me interested?


MV: yes they have the Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015 on the list.. this estate winery is near the beautiful blue ridge mountains, owned by an Italian family and the wines have received numerous awards so def worth a try at this great price.


RT: Nice so speaking of top award-winning wines.. any top dollar wines that really deliver?


MV: let’s see here..  Normally I’d say only new world to stand up to all the richness in these dishes, but I do believe the Domaine Bachelet-Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru Burgundy 2011 will be a wow factor… because of the new French oak, and the power of the terroir… this is from the area in Burgundy considered to be the best place on earth for white wines!


RT: That’s A stunner for sure! Any reds that would be of equal wow factor


MV: definitely , try The Mascot Napa Valley 2016  we just had a bottle of the 2014 and it was just insanely delicious 2016 is an even better vintage… this is made from the younger hillside vines of the famed Harlan Estate. Bill Harlan's son Will Harlan is the winemaker. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot & Cab Franc.


And one more beauty, before we run out of time, the Sine Qua Non  Squeezebox 2018

This is a newer Syrah from this cult wine producer, there are a few other supporting grapes in this but mostly syrah..loads of baking spices and berries in this beaut! Go for the sweet tea braised short rib!


RT: Sweet tea short ribs and syrah! I love it!


RT: Well thank you Maria and thank you, everyone, for joining us on another episode of CorkRules. Be sure to download the app from the Appstore to get your personal restaurant wine recommendations right to your phone. You can find more wine educational tips from Maria on Instagram @mariathewineblonde and on the CorkRules app.


MV: It’s here! The CorkRules App! Download it for free today from the app store so you can browse restaurant wine lists, connect with your friends, and start drinking wines you love. 

Have a favorite wine List? Let us review it here. Send us your requests at info@CorkRules.com You can find previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform and on The CorkRules app. Be sure to follow @CorkRules on Instagram for episode updates. Prices and selections subject to change, please drink responsibly.




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