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About this Episode

Samantha Hohl, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas explore the wine list at Little Donkey, a global tapas restaurant by James Beard Award-Winning Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Here, guests can enjoy a menu influenced by global cuisine and local market fare, providing the opportunity to sample food and wine from all over the world. Sam offers excellent advice on what to pair with select bottles of wine, and she offers a little background information on the wines, vines, and producers.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2016 COS “Cerasuolo di Vittoria", Sicily

  • 2021 Meinklang Burgenland White, Austria

  • 2020 “Petal” by Sonshine Vins, France

Transcript: Little Donkey

Little Donkey

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 Samantha Hohl, certified sommelier.

Hello Sam, it’s great to be back together for another episode.

SH: 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.

Cork Rules

Little Donkey


Little Donkey is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and they’re offering up internationally inspired small plates and tapas. The owners are James Beard Award-winning chefs who provide a variety of unique flavor combinations- and of course there’s great cocktails and wine to go along with them.

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

Where to start

Much like their food, their wine list is also globally inspired and unique! The list is straightforward to navigate, sectioned into types- like bubbles, white and red, but there are definitely some really cool finds on here that might not be familiar! To start, there were a few interesting blends that caught my eye and would be a fun way to kick off the evening.

The 2021 Summer Nat by Borachio would be a really lovely bottle to start with. Borachio is a natural winery in the Adelaide Hills of Australia. They produce mostly field blends, which are blends where the grapes have grown in the same vineyard, are picked together and then co-fermented, as opposed to wines that are blended after fermentation. Summer Nat is a Pet Nat (short for Pettilant Naturel, meaning naturally sparkling). It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc, which is unusual and results in this grapefruity fizz with notes of refreshing watermelon. This zippy pet nat would be so good alongside the salmon and tuna belly tartar!

If you’re feeling something red and playful, try the 2020 ‘Petal’ by Sonshine Vins. Not too clobbering and super drinkable, this would pair well with so many of the starters or small plates. Lisanne van Son is the winemaker behind Sonshine Vins. She is from the Netherlands and after years of working in restaurants as a  sommelier she decided to follow her dream of making wine and moved to France’s Loire Valley. She sources grapes from vineyards that practice organic or biodynamically which she explains can be difficult due to the effects of climate change on the vineyards. She then makes bottles that are vibrant and let the grapes truly shine. This bottle is mostly composed of Grolleau gris and Muscat Roug- another blend that’s going to give you a unique glass. This bottle is a light red with delicate tannins, some beautiful floral notes and juicy red fruit. With its lighter body and tannins but fruity profile, it would be awesome with the pork sticky ribs.

Value Bottle

The 2021 Meinklang Burgenland White is a great value bottle on this list. Meinklang is a family-run farm that’s located in the heart of a national park in Pamhagen, Austria. The three brothers who own it each focus on a specific part of the farm, the vines, the animals and plants, and the winemaking. They practice biodynamically and each part of their farm plays into how the other thrives. They pride themselves in taking equal care of their animals and land, as well as anything produced from it. Their wines are created with this integrity and straightforwardness that really does tell the story of their farm. This bottle is primarily Gruner Veltliner blended with some welschriesling and muskat. It’s going to be super fresh and bright, great acidity, with notes of green apple and lime. This zingy white wine is going to help cut through things that are creamy or fried, so it would be a great start with the shrimp and pork wontons or the burrata with golden beats.


If you’re up for something special, the 2016 COS “Cerasuolo di Vittoria" would definitely make your night. This Sicilian red blend of Nero d’ Avola and Frappato is balanced and structured, serious enough to celebrate with but rounded and juicy, making it a real joy to sip on. COS winery is owned by three friends who are committed to representing their familial lands through their wines. The blend of these two grapes make a great partnership- with the Nero d’Avola offering dark fruit notes and the Frappato bringing those raspberry and red cherry tones. The Frappato is also aged in stainless steel tanks while the Nero d’Avola is aged in oak so you have this added complexity of those vanilla notes from the oak and bright freshness maintained from tank aging. It would be wonderful with the Manti, which is Istanbul Meat Ravioli, with red pepper butter to compliment those bold fruit flavors and zingy acidity.

RT: Sam Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Little Donkey’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 Sam 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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