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About this Episode

Certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan joins host Robert Tas to review the wine list of Joseph Leonard, a casual, neighborhood restaurant in the West Village. The extensive wine list offers well-priced, old-world gems and Michaela shares her expertise on the producers, varietals, and vintages as she identifies which ones pair well with meals on the menu.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Pepiere sur Lie Muscadet, 2019 from Loire France
  • Chemins de Bassac l’Incandescent Syrah Rose, 2020 from the Languedoc
  • Chateau Les Croisille ‘Le Croizillon’ Malbec, Cahors 2019
Transcript: Joseph Leonard

Joseph Leonard

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 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, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list.

RT: Today we are talking about Joseph Leonard, a relaxed American bistro in the West Village. Whether you are interested in breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, no matter the time, Joseph Leonard is ready for you!

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

MQ: This is my kind of wine list. It is full of well-priced, old-world gems, that I am excited to share with you today.

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

MQ: Since we have dining options throughout the day, I would begin with a light, dry white wine, the Pepiere sur Lie Muscadet, 2019 from Loire France. Muscadet is a low alcohol, white grape varietal that exudes bright acidity, fresh peach, and apricot, with a hint of citrus and minerality. This is a beautiful aperitif, and a classic pairing for seafood and shellfish.

RT: That’s a great start. Did any others catch your eye right away?

MQ: Of course! We must include a rose when brunch is on the menu. One to consider would be the Chemins de Bassac l’Incandescent Syrah Rose 2020 from the Languedoc. This is a deeply colored rose, which is the result of extended contact of the juice and skins of the Syrah. This is a bold rose that will satisfy red wine fans. Fresh, ripe strawberries, cherries, and watermelon showcase this rose with a peppery finish. This is a perfect selection to pair with anything spicy or fried.

RT: That is for sure unique.

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

MQ: I am always thrilled to see wine from Cahors on the menu. Cahors is located in Southwestern France and is one of the first locations to grow Malbec. I would consider the Chateau Les Croisille ‘Le Croizillon’ Malbec, Cahors 2019. This malbec balances cranberry and cherry with mushroom and earthy notes, all with a smooth finish. Any lamb or poultry dish would be a wonderful companion.

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: If you are enjoying brunch, why not enjoy the Face B Blanquette de Limoux, NV, in the Languedoc, France. Here we have another quality and value wine. This sparkling wine is dry, light with green apple, and a toasty, brioche finish. This wine is produced in the traditional method, just like in Champagne. A perfect wine to enjoy any time of day, all at an excellent price.

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: Of course! Let’s head to Italy for the Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco 2020 from Alto Adige, Italy. The crisp freshness of this white wine stands out right away. Bright citrus, with stone fruit such as peach and apricot, along with a mineral finish would pair beautifully with salads, light fare, and even buttery sauces.

RT: That sounds great. Why do I think you have a red selection for us as well?

MQ: You know me too well Robert! Staying in Italy, I would consider the Giacomo Brezza Barbera d’Alba 2017, from the Piedmont region of Italy. The Barbera is a classic red grape of Northern Italy that is light to medium-bodied with dried cranberry, cherry, and strawberry, with a hint of cinnamon and lavender on the nose. If you enjoy Pinot Noir, Barbera is certainly a grape to explore, and certainly enjoy with any herbal dishes.

RT: For me personally…

MQ: Absolutely!

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

MQ: Let’s head to Spain for the La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza, Rioja Reserva 2012. This is a standout wine consisting of classic Rioja TempraNULLlo and a splash of Garnacha. You will notice the balance of strawberries and sweet cherries, along with black pepper, and baking spices. The wine has a long finish showcasing smooth tannins. Herbed chicken, or lamb would pair beautifully and will enhance any event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Joseph Leonard’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 cue as quick 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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