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About this Episode

Whitney Grant, wine educator and certified sommelier, joins Robert Tas as they peruse the wine list of The Ten Bells. The Ten Bells specializes in natural wines, and wines produced from organic or biodynamic grapes with very little intervention from the winemaker. Whitney reveals the best bottles for those special occasions, value wines for oenophiles on a budget, and the wines that pair best with select items on the menu.  

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2014 Grand Cru Zotzenberg riesling
  • Cuvée Papillon from Provence, France
  • Si Rose gewürztraminer & pinot gris
Transcript: The Ten Bells

Ten Bells

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 Whitney Grant, wine educator and certified sommelier.

Hello Whitney, it’s great to have back on with CorkRules.

WG: Hi Robert! Thanks for having me back! I’m excited to talk about some wine today!.


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 Ten Bells. With locations in Brooklyn and the Lower Eastside Ten Bells strives to introduce the world of natural wines with selections from around the world. Enjoy Tapas style food to perfectly pair with your wine. 

Whitney with such an extensive wine list, where would you begin?

WG: Why not start with Happy Hour! I love to grab a quick bite and glass of wine with friends after work and Ten Bells has two wines available on their happy hour menu for a great buy at $5 a glass. For white wine, they have a chardonnay from the Rhône Valley in France. While not the most common white from the region, this chardonnay is delightful. You can expect 

The red on happy hour is a Côtes du Rhône to simply put it a blend of the many grapes grown in the Southern Rhone region of France. Typically these blends are medium body and fruity. This particular blend consists of carignan, mouvedre, cinsault, syrah and grenache blanc. 

RT: That is a great deal for quality natural wine! Are there any other wines by the glass you would suggest?

WG: The Tommy Ruff syrah/mouvedre blend from the Barossa Valley in Southern Australia. This wine is full of dark fruit, meaty notes with the black pepper characteristics you’d expect from this region.

I would also recommend trying the 2014 Grand Cru Zotzenberg reisling from the Alsace region in France. This wine is zingy, with great minerality, lemon, apricot, and the delicious almond and honey that comes as reisling begins to age.

RT: Ten Bells has such a wide variety of styles wines! If someone is looking to change it up from the more widely available styles of wine, what would you recommend?

WG: I would suggest giving one of the Pet Nats a try!

RT: Tell us more about that style.

WG: Pet Nat or Pétillant natural is French for naturally sparkling. These wines are different than their traditional-method sparkling wines. The wine is bottled during the initial fermentation and the natural sugars from the grapes feed the yeast while in the bottle trapping the by-product of fermentation, CO2, and therefore creating the bubbles. Unlike vintage Champagne, Pet Nat should be consumed young as the bubbles tend to soften with age.

There are a number of Pet Nats on the menu at Ten Bells. I would recommend the Joe Swick pinot noir Pet Nat from a winemaker in my hometown of Portland, Oregon or the Cuvée Papillon from Provence France if you’d prefer to simply have a glass.

RT: Now I see they have a selection of orange wines. Can you tell us a little about that style?

WG: Yes! Orange wine is a growing style that is very popular with natural wine fans. Orange wine is produced by fermenting white wine grapes on the skins like most red wines are made. Providing the resulting with oxidative character, the orange color, and even a little tannin from the seeds and skin.

If you are interested in trying an orange wine at Ten Bells I would recommend a glass of the Si Rose gewürztraminer & pinot gris. You can expect aromas and flavors of orange peel, lychee, almond, and apricot.

RT: So Whitney, Ten Bells has a few fortified and sweet wines on the menu. What would you recommend if a guest is looking for something sweet to end their visit?

WG: I would suggest the Macvin Blanc from Stéphane Tissot. This is a non-vintage blend of chardonnay and savagnin. This wine will be sweet with a touch of bitterness on the finish with flavors of raisins and candied fruit.

RT: Whitney Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Ten Bell’s wine list. I can’t wait to go try them myself.

WG: Thanks for having me Robert, I hope the listeners enjoyed these selections. Ten Bells has quite the wine list! 

RT: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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