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About this Episode

In this episode, Robert Tas and certified sommelier Michaela Quinlan are on hand to help you navigate the wine list at The Modern, a two Michelin-starred, contemporary American restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art where wine, art, and fine dining are complementary companions, and the wine list is a cultural experience in itself. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • Pierre Sparr Grand Reserve Riesling 2020, Alsace, France
  • Teutonic Borgo Pass Pinot Meunier 2019,  Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Keller Reserve Grauer Burgunder 2019, Rheinhessen
Transcript: The Modern

The Modern

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, 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 The Modern. The Modern is a two Michelin Star restaurant overlooking the garden of the Museum of Modern Art featuring American fare. There are three ways to enjoy your experience at The Modern. You may enjoy their Prix Fixe Menu in The Modern Dining Room, a la cart menu in the Bar Room, or a tasting menu in the Kitchen at The Kitchen Table. No matter where you choose, this James Beard Award-winning restaurant will surely impress

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

MQ: Absolutely. Even their wine list is award-worthy. They have received several Grand Awards from the Wine Spectator, along with awards from the NY Times. There are many standouts to say the least.

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

MQ: A great place to start would be the Pierre Sparr Grand Reserve Riesling 2020 from Alsace, France. Coming from Alsace, this versatile grape tends to be on the drier side. The green apple, pear, and minerality truly stand out in this wine. This dry Riesling is a perfect companion for your charcuterie board or shrimp cocktail.

If you are looking for a light to medium-bodied red wine to start your dining experience, I would consider the Teutonic Borgo Pass Pinot Munier 2019 from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Pinot Munier is known as a grape used to produce Champagne, however, on its own, this fruity red grape offers cranberry, and cherry, with a light, lingering finish of earth and hints of lavender. This grape is similar to Pinot Noir, so lighter fare, herbal or pork dishes would make excellent pairings.

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: Another fun, must-try would be the Keller Reserve Grauburgunder 2019 from the Rheinhessen. This German white wine, the Grauburgunder, is the same grape as pinot gris. Think of citrus, apricot, peachy aromas, with a faint touch of spice on the finish. Roasted vegetable dishes would be an excellent complement to this wine.

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: A favorite of mine that caught my eye was the Yalumba The Signature 2014 from Barossa, Australia. This is a stand-out blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. This full-bodied blend brings high acidity, ripe blackberries, black pepper, cassis, and of course the baking spices such as vaNULLla and cinnamon from its time in French oak. This would be a wonderful selection for heartier, meat dishes.

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. I have a pair from Spain that I think would fit that bill. The first being La Milla Albarino 2018 form Rias Baixas. What I love about Albarino is its ability to stand up to seafood, pastas, and shellfish. It is balanced with citrus, honey, minerality, and a touch of salinity on the finish.

As for the red, I would consider the Alfredo Maestro Garnacha 2017, El Marciano, vin de Madrid. This wine has a great label, which shows off how much of a free spirit and independent winemaker Alfredo Maestro truly is! Now Garnacha, is the same red grape as Grenache, like you would find in the Rhone Valley of France. The Garnacha, however, offers powerful aromas of ripe red fruit, blueberries, with a bit of spice and earthiness. This is a perfect pairing for any smoked or spicy dish.

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

 MQ: An always impressive selection would be the Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Napa, CA. This 95-point-rated Cabernet also features a splash of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which offer smooth tannins, ripe blackberries, cassis, nutmeg, and lingering finish. This is a classic producer that will certainly spark extended conversation.

RT: Michaela, Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate La Modern’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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