Available on

About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit The White Horse Tavern. Originally opened in 1673, this colonial restaurant is committed to providing local, fresh produce, including artisan cheese, honey, prime cuts of beef and the highest quality chops and poultry from local farms. In addition to tasting notes and pairing suggestions, Michaela offers a little background information on the wine producers and locations of the wines reviewed.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 Françoise Crochet, Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

  • 2019 Oberon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California

  • 2019 Château de Santenay, Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Burgundy

Transcript: The White Horse Tavern

White Horse

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 White Horse Tavern. Located in Newport, RI, the White Horse Tavern is known to be the oldest operating restaurant in the US serving guests since 1673, and the 10th oldest in the world. The White Horse Tavern has been featuring the freshest fish, seafood, produce, and beef from local sellers and farms since 1673. Whether or not you are familiar with 17th Century architecture, you will immediately identify this classic, colonial Inn.

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

MQ: While Newport is beautiful in the summer, the White Horse Tavern shines during all seasons. My favorite time to visit is during the holidays. Don’t miss their beautiful fireplaces.

Staying true to classic style is not only for the Inn and dining menu, but certainly extends to the wine list. The White Horse has received the annual Wine Spectator Award of Excellence consistently for nearly a decade. Please take your time reviewing this extensive list. We have selected some stellar wines for your consideration.

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

MQ: Given our restaurant today, we will start with a classic, the 2021, Françoise Crochet, Sancerre, from the Loire Valley of France. This Sauvignon Blanc from the Sancerre region of Loire is grown in limestone soil which allows for beautiful minerality in this organic and biodynamic white wine. Classic aromas and flavors of lime zest, and grapefruit with bright acidity abound. This sancerre is a lovely aperitif, and pairs beautifully with goat cheese and seafood.

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

MQ: Of course! A red to consider would be the  2019 Oberon, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California. Oberon has been producing wine in Napa for over 45 years. This is a rich and bold Cabernet Sauvignon showcasing ripe, black cherries, cassis, smooth tannins, with a note of cocoa on the finish. A stand-out Napa cabernet sauvignon to pair with richly-sauced 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 is the 2019 Château de Santenay, Meursault, in the Cote de Beaune of Burgundy, France. Chateau de Santenay is one of the largest domains in Burgundy with nearly 2000 years of wine history boasting a 9th-century castle. This Chardonnay is aged in French barriques, allowing for an elegant balance of bright acidity and a soft texture featuring aromas of pear, citrus, green apple with a toasty finish. Another wonderful consideration for rich fish dishes such as swordfish or salmon.

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: Another stand out is the 2017 Penner-Ash, Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, of the Willamette Valley, in Oregon. Penner-Ash is a must visit to experience the incredible views and winery that match their remarkable pinot noir. This well balanced and structured pinot noir packs a punch and showcases ripe cranberries, cherries, and spice, with earth and oak on the finish. Another consideration for any proteins on the menu.

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: Absolutely! Staying in Oregon, consider the 2020 Foris, Estate Grown, Pinot Blanc, from the Rogue Valley. Located in Southwestern Oregon, along the California border, Foris has been producing wines since 1974. The aromatics of this wine stand out right away. It features white flowers, pear, peach, lemon zest with a note of ginger on the finish. A food-friendly wine perfect for seafood or lighter proteins, all at an excellent price.

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

MQ: Another incredible quality and value wine to consider would be the 2021 Domaine Faury, Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley of France. Another fragrant wine featuring ripe red cherries, spice, with a hint of lavender, not to mention the round tannins and black pepper on the finish. This Syrah can certainly stand up to any rich dishes and 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: Since we are featuring the wines of the historic White Horse Tavern, then we must include the 2007 Sauternes of Chateau d’Yquem, from Graves, in Bordeaux, France. There are records dating winemaking practices as far back as 1593 and the following history of Chateau d’Yquem is definitely worth the read. This 2007 Sauternes is also historic and distinctive. The terrible weather during most of the 2007 growing season was leading this Sauternes to nearly be overlooked. However, a shift in the weather led the grapes to fully develop Botrytis, or Noble Rot, allowing the grapes to intensify the sweetness and richness of this historic dessert wine. With a 98-point rating from both Decanter and Wine Advocate, this is Sauternes is known as a stand-out vintage. The rich peach, apricot, white flowers, and vanilla would make an excellent companion to any special occasion.

RT: Michaela, thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate White Horse Tavern’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.








Want to request a Restaurant?

Interested in having a restaurant’s wine list featured in a future podcast episode? Let us know here.

Get the CorkRules App

Use the QR Code or
click on Download to install!