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About this Episode

Certified sommelier and wine educator Grace Hood and Robert Tas take some time to peruse the wine list at Hawksmoor, an English-inspired steakhouse restaurant in the heart of NYC, just steps from Gramercy Park. Hawksmoor is dedicated to using all-natural beef to sustainable seafood, and small-farm produce to farmstead cheeses to ensure the quality of their menu, and their wine list is equally focussed on quality over quantity. Grace shares her knowledge to help you navigate the menu and find the best bottles on the list.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Emidio Pepe
  • 2013 Darviot Perrin Premier cru Meursault
  • 2008 Familia Torres Mas la Plana from Penedes, Spain
Transcript: Hawksmoor


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified Sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Cheers Robert!  

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about those wine lists. We created CorkRules to help demystify wine list’s 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 today we’re talking about steak and martini bar, Hawksmoor.

GH: You had me at steak and martini bar Robert! Love that this spot started their concept in London and brought it to New York. As an American who used to live in England, I was having flashbacks to my time there when I was reading the menu. I had this nostalgic sense of sitting in a 500-year-old pub on a chilly day, fire crackling in the background, aromas of hearty dishes filling the air. Nothing like it. 

RT: What a life you’ve lived Grace. Sounds like a novel! Now, what are your thoughts on their wine list?

GH: So we're coming kind of back to steak house basics with the menu being predominantly rich seafood and mouthwatering meats. And in terms of their wine list, it’s an approachable 10 pages, broken down into you reds, whites, sparkling, orange and rose, but then they get even more specific in their "reserves" sections, which is just going to mean the more exclusive smaller production wines and or some older vintages. If you're someone like me, who immediately starts looking for the older vintages of reds on the list, i really appreciate the layout of the Hawksmoor menu

RT: Fantastic – can’t wait to hear your picks. Where do we start?

GH: Well they have a lovely oyster selection for starters on the dining menu, and so you know we gotta get some sparkling. I spotted a 2013 Geoffrey Premier cru champagne, which would be a lovely subtle bottle of bubbly. If you wanted something a bit more brut, you could go with an English sparkling wine! The NyeTimber Classic Cuvee would do just the trick.


RT: English sparkling. Gotta love how international the wine world is. What are your thoughts on whites?

GH: If we're feeling some lighter whites for our crudos and our salads, the lightest I would do it the Loimer Lois Gruner Veltliner from Austria. If you wanted something with a little bit more body and citrus elements, the Pieropan Soave Classico from Italy would be a lovely choice. Or if you wanted to get a super rare old-school French white, they have a Tréssallier on the list, which is also known as sacy. Sacy is grown in central and northern France, but has different names depending on where it is produced - I know I know European old world wine is confusing - I don't make the rules I just educate the people on them haha this tressallier is made by Domaine de beroiles and coming from the Loire valley, so it's going to have all that nice acidity and floral herbaceous notes that we associate with Loire valley whites.  

RT:  So many grapes, so little time.

GH: Haha totally. But, when we get into the richer fish dishes, I'm thinking something with some weight to it. I saw that they have a Condrieu on the menu from Pierre Galliard from the Rhone valley in France, which is very high-end viognier. There are some wines that you’ll never forget your first time experiencing them, and that was me with condrieu - it was like tasting liquid gold, and that is still how I describe it today. If you're feeling chardonnay, they have a ton to pick from depending on what country and what style. One that stuck out to me was the 2020 Ojai vineyard Bien Nacido chardonnay from Santa Barbara. and I'm about to humble brag here, but I actually helped in making that exact wine! I worked the 2020 vintage at Ojai vineyards which is a lovely little valley town located north of LA county and just south of Santa Barbara. The head wine maker Adam Tolmach has been producing Burgundian-style wines from high-end central California vineyards since the 80s, and I literally will drink anything he makes. Shout out to you Adam and the whole Ojai fam! Love y’all 

RT: Oh man you’re making me want to book a ticket to California Grace haha. Now we’re at a steak house. So, we have to talk about red wine for sure.

GH: Well, they have a highly curated and pretty wide selection of reds. And since we DO have so many older vintages to play with, I'm gonna stick in the reserve section. Starting with your lighter style reds to go with your pork belly, gonna have to be the 2011 Lucien Boillot Pommard from Burgundy. or if you wanted a domestic pinot, the 2013 Bergstrom Shae vineyard from the Willamette would be a great choice. In the medium-bodied reds, they have a 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Emidio Pepe which I am really interested in. And of course, we gotta talk about some cabernets. Some that stuck out to me were the 2006 spring mountain cab from Napa - gimme that mountain fruit. Another one was the 2008 Familia Torres Mas la Plana from Penedes, Spain as well as the 1996 Chateau Talbot from Saint Julien in Bordeaux. Can't go wrong with any of those. 

RT: No, you cannot. Now how about those value wines and maybe even a special occasion bottle?

GH: They actually have a ton of value wines on this list which is awesome to see for a New York City steak house. A no-brainer white for me on the list when it comes to price point, is the 2020 muscadet from the Loire valley. and then on the reds, I'm doing the 2015 Valpolicella Superior from the Marion vineyard in Veneto Italy. Then for your special occasion bottles, on the white side it's going to have to be 2013 Darviot Perrin Premier cru Meursault, and then for reds, gotta be the 1996 Chateau Margaux 

RT: Amazing Grace. Great choices as always. Thank you for helping us navigate the wine list at Hawksmoore.

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. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace

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


Thank you.







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