Sommelier Montana Rae toys the wine at Corsica. | Photo by Montana Rae

Corsica Brings an Affordable, Excellent Wine List to RiNo

Sommelier Montana Rae dives into the massive menu at Denver’s newest wine bar, and divulges how it’s put together with taste and price in mind.

BY Montana Rae


The creative minds behind Barcelona Wine Bar have unveiled their latest concept, Corsica, in the heart of Denver’s RiNo Art District. A food, wine, and travel junky’s dream come true, the group chose Mile High City as the launch pad for the first installation of its new venture.

We aren’t surprised, in Denver, we cherish comfort and effortless style. We value great design, excellent service, reasonable prices, and a diverse selection of food, wine, and cocktails. Corsica embodies these values and delivers something our city always needs more of, places to discover interesting, high-quality wines at an excellent value.

The murals on the Corsica building beckon. | Photo by Montana Rae
The murals on the Corsica building beckon. | Photo by Montana Rae

First Impressions at Corsica

Turning onto Walnut Street, Corsica’s eye-catching sherbet-colored patio, and dynamic murals draw you in. Through the doors, the restaurant achieves what many international dining concepts aspire to but seldom succeed in.  It transports you. The transition from the urban exterior to a coastal European-inspired retreat is intentional and familiar to those who have traveled the world.

Denverites love exploring global cuisines, and at Corsica, you are guided through each turn of the epicurean map. My experience began with a warm welcome from my server, who presented a three-ounce pour of the ‘spruzzo,’ or splash of the day. She described the tasting notes of the Sicilian white wine, setting the stage for an enlightening experience.

With so many wines to choose from, it's savvy to ask the sommelier for guidance. | Photo by Montana Rae
With many wines to choose from, it’s savvy to ask the sommelier for guidance. | Photo by Montana Rae

The Wine Program

Corsica’s wine list is exclusively old-world, featuring bottles from Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal, along with less typical regions like the Canary Islands, Croatia, and, of course, its namesake, Corsica. Twenty-eight wines are available by the glass, and patrons can choose between three- or six-ounce pours, priced between $4.25 and $11.00 for three ounces and $8.50 to $24.00 for six ounces.

For me, the three-ounce option is essential for wine exploration. It allows us to try new wines without the commitment or expense of a full glass, making it easier to venture into unfamiliar territory.

The service team guided me through five wines over two hours, making the experience seamless and enjoyable. I started with the initial ‘spruzzo,’ followed by a rosé of Sciaccarellu from Corsica, an Italian skin-contact white of Falanghina and Trebbiano, an off-dry Mosel Riesling, and a perfumy Beaujolais to finish. The menu also highlights organic, biodynamic, and low-intervention wines, catering to the discerning drinker.

Chips go with just about any wine. | Photo by Montana Rae
Chips go with just about any wine. | Photo by Montana Rae

Accompanying the wines were delectable small plates: vinegar potato chips with chive aioli, a light beet salad with herbs, labneh, and crostini, whipped ricotta toast, Bastian meatballs in tomato sauce, and beef brochettes with green peppercorn sauce. Each dish is unique and inspired, and there are over twenty more small plates to explore.

Creating a Solid, Affordable Wine List

In 2023, Emily Nevin-Giannini, the company’s beverage director, was featured in FSR Magazine’s Meet the Restaurant Industry’s NextGen Trendsetters. I spoke with Nevin-Giannini the day after my visit, and she shared the ethos behind Corsica. She emphasized the importance of value, simplicity, and sophistication in the wine selection, sourcing from boutique producers in specific regions to express the magic of the people and places behind the bottles.

Many of the wines come by the glass at Corsica. | Photo by Montana Rae
Many of the wines come by the glass at Corsica. | Photo by Montana Rae

Nevin-Gianni explained the company’s priority with Corsica and Barcelona is. “value taken seriously.” Although the ideology is simple, achieving this requires extreme dedication to tasting and evaluating wine. Sourcing wines from boutique producers in unique areas of the world to offer a program like this in Denver is no small undertaking, and it is done here with great success.

Barcelona Wine Bar’s decision to test this fresh concept in Denver, a city known for its hip and dynamic vibe but not necessarily for its epic wine scene, is thrilling. If you crave unique and delicious food and wine experiences, Corsica is a new restaurant you won’t want to miss.

Visit Corsica daily from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. 2801 Walnut St., Denver,

Check out some of Montana Rae’s other wine features including drinking wine at Union Station, Mexican wines, and spring wines that really we can drink any time.

Content Continues Below


Montana Rae

Montana Rae is a CMS Certified Sommelier and WSET Level III residing in Denver, Colorado. She offers private wine tastings, classes, and dinners at clients’ homes and businesses around Colorado, as well as product recommendations, tips, recipes, and more through her company, The Wine Ship. Montana is also a commercial real estate broker specializing in sales and leasing of restaurant and retail spaces in Denver. Contact Montana at and follow her on Instagram @montana.rae.sommelier