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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas head north of the border to visit Montreal and the Syrian restaurant, Damas. Damas feels like a crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures; the atmosphere is inviting and exotic, and the wine list is both adventurous and traditional. Michaela guides us to the bottles that will deliver in quality, including a few Canadian wines. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2018 Overnoy Cremant de Jura, France

  • 2021 Grand Saint Charles, St Pepin, Quebec

  • 2021 Domaine Neumeyer Blanc Tache

Transcript: Damas


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 Damas, located in Montreal. Explore Syrian cuisine at its finest with sharable small dishes to begin your evening, to exotic spices showcasing fresh, traditional fare.

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

MQ: You certainly need to spend time with this incredible wine list which is as exotic as their menu items. We have a number of unique selections for you today from some of our favorite Old-World regions.

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

MQ: It is safe to say the entire menu caught my eye. How about we kick things off with a sparkler from Jura. Consider the 2018 Overnoy Cremant de Jura from France. The term Cremant informs us this sparkler is produced outside of the Champagne region in France. Located in Eastern France, this organic, 100% Chardonnay is a winner with bright minerality, green apple, almonds, dried apricots, and a note of salinity make this wine an excellent aperitif or as a companion to spice.

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

MQ: Another wine that caught my attention was the 2021 Grand Saint Charles, St Pepin from Quebec. The St Pepin grape is a hybrid grape grown in North America and is similar to Riesling. The aromas and flavors consist of tropical fruit, grapefruit, and citrus. The medium body of this dry, white wine would pair beautifully with soft cheese and spicy dishes.

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

MQ: A must-try when pairing wine with a variety of spices would be the 2021 Domaine Neumeyer Blanc Tache and the Montreal duo Club Orange wine. Here we have a true Old World meets New World. Domaine Neumeyer from Alsace joined forces with the Montreal duo Club to produce this must-try orange wine. This wine is fresh and bright with aromas of ripe pears, peaches, and dried apricots. This Muscat blend remained in contact with the grape skins for 15 days and will pair well with all bold spices and aged cheese.

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: Another stand-out wine to pair with a variety of spices is the 2020 Silvio Messana Garnaccia from Tuscany. Don’t let the name fool you, as the grape in this wine is Vernaccia. This medium-bodied, organic, orange wine from Central Italy features bright acidity, lemon rind, ripe peach, with notes of honey on the finish. Another orange wine to pair with the incredible spices and acidic dressings/sauces.

RT: Ooh, Terrific.

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

MQ: An excellent quality and value wine to consider is the always versatile grape Riesling. The Kreydenweiss, Clos du Val D’Eleon from Alsace, France, is medium-bodied with notes of white pepper, apricot, and ripe pear. This Riesling is dry and will pair beautifully with heavy spices, and rich seafood such as tuna and salmon.

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

MQ: A trip now to Catalunya for the 2019 Massard, El Mago. This value Garnacha from Spain is medium-bodied with notes of ripe cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. The rich, red fruit makes this another versatile grape to pair with spice and richly sauced proteins, all for an excellent price.

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

MQ: Another beautiful wine region, Provence, brings us the 2011 Domaine de Trevallon. This is a stellar, organic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, and showcases aromas and flavors of boysenberry, cassis, ripe black cherries, and prunes, with thyme, rosemary, and violets. The earth and minerality on the finish make this French stand out a perfect companion to spice and any special event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and for helping us navigate Damas’ 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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