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About this Episode

Wine consultant and certified sommelier Josh Ardizzoni navigates the all-French wine list of the La Mercerie, a contemporary French all-day café located in Soho.  La Mercerie provides a well-rounded wine list that offers variety and quality from standout, French wine producers.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Batard-Langelier “Didascalie’ Muscadet
  • Savennières from Thibaud Boudignon
  • Bandol Rouge from Domaine Tempier
Transcript: La Mercerie

RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Josh Ardizzoni, Certified Sommelier, wine consultant,

Hello Josh, it’s great to have you back.

JA: Hey Robert! Happy to be here :)

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

We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists because we know from experience, that those lists can sometimes be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list with confidence, find those hidden gems, 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 heading down to Soho, to the handsome contemporary French all-day café La Mercerie. I just love the idea of this restaurant – tucked inside the Roman and Williams Guild, home to an acclaimed design firm. The restaurant is every bit at stylish and comfortable as their hosts. Josh, I know you are an all-out lover of all things French to dissect the chic wine list they offer.

JA: Thanks, Robert. Can’t wait to share some thoughts on the all-French list at La Mercerie. There’s something so ambitious yet so sure about going all-in on France. There’s enough variety and quality to go around, of course, but it’s about how you make it work thematically. La Mercerie nails the idea perfectly.

RT: Great. Tell me a little bit more about what you mean.

JA: Sure. Let me start with an example – picture yourself at a restaurant in the early afternoon, having a leisurely lunch with the sun pouring in the windows. I’m calling for oysters on the half shell and a bottle of Batard-Langelier “Didascalie’ Muscadet. This is from a standout producer in Muscadet in the western Loire, near the Atlantic, and it’s made from Melon grapes which are somehow neutral and fresh but able to be transformed into very mineral expressions that sommeliers love. It’s a slam dunk pairing and conveys the whole aesthetic that I think this concept goes for… the transportive type of experience that takes you somewhere else for a bit.

RT: Sounds nice… we can all use a bit of an escape when we go out to dine. And Muscadet doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, right?

JA: Exactly. Muscadet is always one of the best values in white wine. In fact, the whole Loire Valley delivers so much for the dollar, especially in white wine in my opinion.

RT: I’m all for learning about those types of key regions and village names to look for. They can give you an anchor when you’re looking at a wine list that’s all from foreign countries who might not even say the name of the grape on the page.

JA: Yes! And if you can, I’d say the real key is producers – who is making the wine. The producers on this list are truly top-class. White Burgundy from Bernard Moreau, one of the most compelling domaines operating in Chassagne-Montrachet. Racy Sancerre from Francois Cotat, a name that makes hearts skip a beat for those in the know. Truly Emotional Syrahs from Franck Balthazar in some of Cornas’ oldest and best vineyards. These are all great investments if you’re looking for a standout bottle.

RT: Tell me about some of the most exciting under-the-radar wines you see on this list.

JA: A few things pop out at me: First, Savennières from Thibaud Boudignon. Here we are in the Loire again! He’s a young rising star producer in Anjou and his Chenin Blanc is full of energy, clarity, and precision. Amazing wines. Contrast that with the Bandol Rouge from Domaine Tempier. Famous for what might be the world’s greatest rosé wine, Tempier also makes stunning reds primarily from Mourvèdre grapes, which have this crazy tension of density and verve to them. Somewhat savory, somewhat bold, but so complex. I’d highly recommend trying it in an experience like this.

RT: Sounds like the wine list here is really in step with the restaurant concept and makes a lot of sense.

JA: It’s not the biggest list but it’s really well-chosen and specific. In my experience, great wines generally perform their best when they’re in the right homes. La Mercerie deserves the chance to show your new favorite French wine.

RT: Josh, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate La Mercerie’s wine list.

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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