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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit Alcove a neighborhood restaurant situated on the waterfront at Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf and a great place to enjoy the sea view, sea air, and, of course, seafood and wine. Michaela reviews a few stellar whites and reds from Spain, a must-try Beaujolais and a white Burgundy that pairs beautifully with the seafood on the menu, and she shares information on the different types of oak to help you make a more informed decision when choosing a bottle of chardonnay. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Domaine Guiberteau “Les Chapaudaises” Loire Valley
  • 2021 Ameztoi “Rubentis” Txakolina, Spain
  • 2020 Domaine de Colette, Regnie, France


Transcript: Alcove


RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where, in each episode, we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier.

Hello Michaela, it’s great to be back together for another episode.

MQ: Hi Robert!

RT: Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules.

We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists 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, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

RT: Today we are talking about Alcove. Located in Boston’s West End along the waterfront, Alcove features classic, coastal, New England fare. From shellfish, to seafood, to a pregame burger, Alcove is a must visit.

Michaela, I can’t wait to hear what do you think of their wine list?

MQ: I enjoy reviewing the wine list at Alcove, as it organizes bottles by aromas and flavors. A simple way to help you navigate their selections. They also have a rotating Reserve List should you be interested in additional options. Today we have a selection of standout wines. Keep Alcove in mind for private dining, catering, and special occasions.

RT: That’s really great, as you looked the list did you see anything jump out at you?

MQ: The first wine to catch my eye was the 2017 Francois Chidaine  ‘Les Bournais’ Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley of France. Chenin Blanc is a beautiful, medium bodied white wine with bright acidity, citrus, ripe pear, with a mineral finish. Definitely a wine to consider to pair with hard cheeses and dense fish such as salmon and tuna.

RT: That is for sure unique. Did you find any others that caught your eye right away?

MQ: Staying in the Loire Valley, we know I can’t pass by a Cabernet Franc. The 2018 Domaine Guiberteau ‘Les Chapaudaises’ in the Saumur sub-region. I enjoy the balance of ripe blackberries, aromas of green olives, earth, with a mineral finish. This is an excellent consideration for herbed sauces and proteins.

RT: So Michaela, their list seems to have lots of range but was there anything that you would say is a “must-try” ?

MQ: Absolutely. If you are considering a Rose, then you must have a look at the 2021 Ameztoi ‘Rubentis’ Txakolina from the Basque Region of Spain. The grape in this wine is hondarrabi zuri and features aromas and flavors of strawberries, watermelon, with a touch of salinity on the finish. This rose is dry with a hint of effervescence making it a perfect pairing with cheese and lighter fish dishes.

RT: These are some great calls.

So, you know I’m getting thirsty and will need to order a bottle with my dinner, where would you guide us?

MQ: A consideration for the table to pair with dinner would be the 2020 La Soufrandiere ‘Le Clos de Grand -Pere’ from the Macon in Burgundy, France. White Burgundy is always a winner, especially when pairing with a variety of fish and seafood dishes. While spending most time in stainless steel, this Chardonnay sees a short time aging in oak. This combination produces a medium bodied, rich wine featuring aromas and flavors of ripe green apple, pear, citrus, with a touch of vanilla from the oak on the finish.

When I mention vanilla from the oak, that means that this wine has aged shortly in French oak. French oak adds flavors of baking spices, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the wine. Different styles of oak offer different flavors, leaving the winemaker to decide which style, and for how long the wine will age with each vintage.

RT: Ooh, Terrific.

Michaela, speaking of price, sometimes people have a budget in mind.  Any other great value wines you’d point us to? 

MQ: Let’s return to Spain for a bright, citrusy white wine. The 2020 Do Ferrerio from Rias Baixas. This Albarino showcases aromas of white flowers, lemon zest, grapefruit, with a bit of saline on the finish. This bit of saline makes this white wine a perfect companion to shellfish, all at an excellent price.

RT: That sounds great. What is your other value selection?

MQ: Another classic red wine that is always of great quality and value is the 2020 Domaine de Colette from Regnie, a sub-region of Beaujolais. This Gamay grape is similar in style to Pinot Noir with aromas and flavors of strawberries and cranberries, with spice and earth on the finish. A beautiful red wine that will pair well with all fish dishes and light proteins.

RT: Now Michaela, what if I have a big client dinner or special occasion where I want to take it up a notch?

MQ: As we bounce between France and Spain today, a standout, special occasion wine would be the 2016 Costers del Priorat ‘Clos Alzina’ from Priorat. Red wines from Priorat are rich and full-bodied. The red grape in this bottle is samso, which is another name for carrignan or cinsault and features aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, smoke, earth, with round tannins and notes of cocoa on the finish. This wine also ages in French oak, so you will be able to point out some of those baking spices we talked about earlier as well. A rich wine to add to lingering conversation.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Alcove’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try them myself.  

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. 

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

Thank you.




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