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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the restaurant, Prairie Whale. Surrounded by a circle of vegetable and livestock farmers, cheesemakers, and foragers these suppliers have helped build the Whale's reputation as a legitimate farm-to-table restaurant. This dedication to quality extends to the wine list where they offer a large selection of reds and whites, organic, and orange wines, and a special selection of natural wines from a small local importer.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Domaine de Souch, “Jurancon Sec”, France

  • 2021 Marcel LaPierre “Morgon”, Beaujolais, France

  • 2020 Franck Peillot, “Altesse”, Savoie, France

Transcript: Prairie Whale

Prairie Whale:

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 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.

RT: Today we are talking about Prairie Whale. Located in Great Barrington, MA, this casual tavern prides itself on sourcing from local farms, their personal farms, and featuring a variety of natural wines.

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

MQ: Prairie Whale is the definition of farm-to-table! Their wine list showcases an excellent selection of Old World and New World, with several natural wines. I hope you enjoy today’s selections.

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

MQ: The first wine that caught my eye was the 2020 Domaine de Souch, “Jurancon Sec” from Southwestern France. This fresh, organic white blend of Gros and Petit Manseng features bright acidity with aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, and citrus. The lime zest and mineral finish of this dry wine make this an excellent pairing for shellfish and rich seafood such as salmon and tuna.

RT: That is for sure unique. Did you find any others that caught your eye right away?

MQ: Another organic wine that caught my eye was the 2021 Marcel LaPierre “Morgon” from Beaujolais, France. Morgon is the second largest cru, or superior growing site, in Beaujolais, located within Burgundy. The red grape in this standout, organic wine is Gamay, and features aromas and flavors of plumb, cranberries, and raspberries, with floral and herbal notes on the long finish. This wine makes a perfect companion to grilled seafood and light proteins.


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

MQ: A must-try white wine is the 2020 Franck Peillot, “Altesse” from the Savoie region in Southeastern France. The Altesse grape is grown sustainably and exudes intense aromas of tangerine, citrus, lime zest, and white flowers. The bright acidity and herbal finish make this an excellent pairing with cheese and grilled vegetables.

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: There are so many unique wines on this list, but something fun to try is the 2020 Strekov 1075 “Fred #8” from Slovakia. This natural wine is crafted from three grape varieties: 50% Alibernet, 30% Blauer Portugieser, and 20% Dunaj. This blend produces aromas and flavors of sour cherries, and raspberries, with notes of violets and spice. Request this bottle slightly chilled and enjoy with charcuterie and grilled or smoked proteins.  

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: For those seeking a quality/value Orange wine, consider the 2020 Sikele, “Tenuta dei Fossi” from Sicily. The grape in this Italian orange wine is Garganega. Many of you may recognize this grape from the stellar wines of Soave. The prolonged skin contact allows this wine to showcase aromas and flavors of Meyer lemon with notes of almonds and walnuts. Pair with bold spices and aged cheese.

RT: That sounds great. What is your other value selection?

MQ: Another quality/value natural wine to consider is the 2020 Domaine Arletaz “Timeo” from Roussillon in Southern France. The red grape in this bottle is Grenache and features ripe strawberries, red cherries, raspberries, with notes of clove and cinnamon, making this wine an excellent pairing with herbed proteins and spicy dishes.

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

MQ: I enjoy something sparkling during any special occasion. If Champagne piques your interest, then consider the Tarlant “Zero” Brut Champagne. This Champagne consists of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and is deemed “Zero” due to its lack of dosage, or the addition of sweeteners. A bright, fresh, mineral Champagne featuring notes of brioche and lemon zest truly make this sparkler an excellent addition to any event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Prairie Whale’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 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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