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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the Spoke Wine Bar where they focus on local by working closely with farmers, brewers, and winemakers to create a stellar, seasonally-focused menu that is designed for tasting and sharing, the perfect place to try new wine pairings. Michaela shares her expertise and offers suggestions and a little background knowledge to enhance the experience. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2019 Bertrand et Axelle Machard de Gramont, Aligote, Burgundy
  • 2019 Ochota Barrels, “Fugazi” Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia
  • 2019 Cacciagalli “Pelerosa” Aglianico Rose from Campania
Transcript: Spoke Wine Bar

Spoke Wine Bar

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 Spoke Wine Bar. Located in Davis Square in Somerville, MA, Spoke Wine Bar works closely with farmers, brewers, and winemakers to create a stellar, seasonally-focused menu.

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

MQ: This is my kind of place! Locally sourced, small producers, and sharable plates. We have selected some stand-out wines to pair with all of the amazing selections on Spoke’s menu.

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

MQ: Being the Old-World fan that I am, I had to note the 2019 Bertrand et Axelle Machard de Gramont, Aligote from Burgundy. The Aligote grape is a crowd-pleasing white grape that showcases peach, lime zest, with bright acidity and minerality. A wonderful consideration to pair with herbed sauces, fish, and cheeses.

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

MQ: Here we have an Old-World Grenache grown in the New World. Another wine to consider if you are thinking of sharing a cheese plate with some charcuterie, then you must try the 2019 Ochota Barrels, “Fugazi” Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia. This Grenache features aromas and flavors of raspberries, cherries, and cranberries, along with herbs, white pepper, and oak.

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

MQ: Another consideration would be the 2019 I Cacciagalli “Pelerosa” Aglianico Rose from Campania. I enjoy the body and more pronounced flavors of Italian Roses. This Rose is made from limited skin contact with the juice of the dense, red, Aglianico grape and features all things cherry from aromas to flavors, while still showcasing bright acidity. This is a Rose that can stand up to dense fish and hard cheeses.


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 looking for a unique red wine to share with the table, then one to consider would be the 2019 Meinklang “Abend” St Laurent/Blaufrankisch from Burgenland, Australia. This is considered a natural wine, meaning the winemaker does not use any pesticides in the vineyard and may add a minimal amount to zero additives. This red wine is similar to Pinot Noir with cranberries, ripe cherries, black pepper, and herbs. This wine is aged in concrete, so it does not have any oak influences. This medium to full bodied red would pair well with any herbed or tomato sauces.

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: 2018 Vina Herzanovi “Black Label” Gruner Veltliner from Moravia in the Czech Republic. This Gruner Veltliner is medium-bodied with aromas of ripe pear, citrus, and white flowers, with a mineral and white pepper finish…making this wine quite versatile when pairing with a variety of dishes such as salads and proteins. A well-priced, beautifully unique wine.

RT: Did any value red catch your eye?

MQ: Of course! Get ready for a bold, red wine. The 2020 Monte Rio Cellar, Primitivo, from Lodi will win you over with an abundance of black pepper, ripe blackberries, blueberries, oak, and spice. Primitivo is the Italian grape for Zinfandel. This is the wine for CA Zinfandel fans and a wonderful pairing for rich sauces and all proteins.

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

MQ: The 2013 Alessandro et Gian Natale Fantino Barolo from the Piedmont is truly a beautiful wine to share during any special event. This bold Nebbiolo is truly stunning and showcases aromas of rose, ripe cherries, strawberries, and lavender, with flavors of earth, smoke, and notes of vanilla on the finish. A standout vintage to pair with pasta, proteins, and any special event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Spoke Wine Bar’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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