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About this Episode

Robert Tas and sommelier Rachel Peacock explore the menu and wine list of French Louie, a French-American bistro near downtown Brooklyn. This laid-back, unconventional, and wholly French restaurant has a wine list that is carefully curated to pair well with the menu and offers wines from Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, the Loire and Rhone Valley and a few American wines too.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2015 Gevrey- Chambertin from Georges Lignier et Fils
  • 2002 “Cuvee Nicolas Francois”


Transcript: French Louie

French Louie


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 Rachel Peacock, Sommelier, WSET 3 candidate, and cellar worker helping create some of your favorite wines from Washington state. Hey Rachel, so nice to have you.

RP: Hi Robert! Thanks for having me, this is a great topic. I love dissecting wine lists and getting inside the thought process of the wine directors creating stunning pairings that really elevate the cuisine. For this episode, we are reviewing French Louie’s list, and there are some standout choices to bring your meal to the next level. As a somm, I see this time and again, where a customer’s wine selection can really make or break the entire meal.

RT: Great, that’s exactly what we’re looking for! CorkRules is an effort to demystify the wine list for the average consumer because we know not everyone who enjoys wine is an expert, nor do they need to be! Wine should be for everyone.

Our goal is to give you some general education on food and wine pairings, specific to a different restaurant each show. We are going to hack this list for you, so to speak, with a variety of routes to choose from. Today is a classic because this list is all about French wine.

RP: Right, and French Louie has a really thoughtfully curated list, which basically does half my job for me!

RT: So just a few notes about the restaurant, French Louie is a French-American bistro near downtown Brooklyn, in a really warm and beautifully designed space. Owners Doug Crowell and Chef Ryan Angulo are industry veterans serving up beautifully executed classics in the lexicon of Parisian bistro cuisine.

So, Rachel, what’s your overall impression of the list?


RP: This is a list that is after my own heart. I love the simplicity. They are bringing you a nice array of what they know is going to pair well with this food: Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux and to a lesser extent some options from Alsace, the Loire and Rhone Valley. They also offer some American counterparts of these varietals and styles, which is great too.

RT: That’s sort of a ‘greatest hits’ list of French wine regions. What really stood out to you?

RP: Well, they seem to love their Pinot Noir, and I love what they’re selling. They’ve found some great selections at reasonable price points! Namely, I’m looking at the 2015 Gevrey- Chambertin from Georges Lignier et Fils. This is a great producer from one of the most coveted communes of Burgundy. It’s going to be light bodied enough to pair with their steelhead trout offering but it still maintains enough acid and structure that it would be completely delicious with the Duck au Poivre as well. You can expect black currant and cherry notes from this wine along with violets and the rusticity that Red Burgundy is known for. Game and leather notes and licorice undertones should be starting to show themselves as well. This is a great introduction if you want to familiarize yourself with more Burgundy.

RT: I’m salivating over Duck and Pinot now, but what else caught your eye?

RP: Well, I really feel like Americans don’t drink enough Bordeaux Blanc, and this would totally be the place to do so!


RT: Tell me more about that…


RP: Everyone is so focused on the reds of Bordeaux, but the whites really have so much to offer. Most typically they appear as some sort of combination of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, the former two varietals most often. While white Bordeaux can present itself as a light, grassy, citrus-driven white, the most coveted Bordeaux Blancs are rich and complex with baked apple notes that emanate a unique umami flavor.

The offering from French Louie really typifies the lighter style from Jean Marc Barthez. It’s so refreshing and delicious and I could see a way to pair a whole meal around this bottle. This is a serious value bottle too.

RT: So, what would be your ideal meal with this bottle and their dinner menu?

RP: Naturally I would start with some oysters. This bottle is Sauvignon Blanc driven and aged in stainless steel so it’s going to help facilitate the minerality we want with that pairing. Next, I’d move on to the chilled sweet pea soup. Again, those grassy notes with the spring peas will be amazing. For my main course, the gnocchi Parisienne would be a stand-out with the broccoli walnut pesto. The fat of this dish and the acid of the wine will really balance one another. This would be a light but fulfilling meal and it’s always so satisfying to pick out a wine that complements every course.

RT: Wow, that meal has me wanting to celebrate Spring and all things green. Sounds incredible. Finally, if there’s one bottle to really impress a client or a date, what would you go for on this list?

RP: That’s easy. This is a value list to begin with, so there really isn’t anything inordinately expensive and the higher-end bottles they do carry are quite fairly priced. So naturally, my eye gravitates toward the Champagne, which really can be paired with most courses beautifully.

RT: I am always looking to add more Champagne in my life.

RP: Me too, I really am a sucker for a good bottle. In this case, go for the vintage! They offer a 2002 “Cuvee Nicolas Francois” from Billecart Salmon, a legendary producer. This is a solid vintage and highly rated, with notes of apricot and brioche while maintaining austerity and great acidity. I’m absolutely loving this option, and it’s a screaming deal at this price point if you ask me.;)

RT: Wow, what a great rundown on some French classics! Rachel, thank you so much for guiding us through some of these staples at French Louie. I fully plan on heading there for oysters and Champagne soon. To our audience, thank you all for joining us and we hope you take away some ideas for pairing.

If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us an 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 look 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.





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