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About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier, and Robert Tas visit the Trio Grill in Falls Church, Virginia where the focus is on offering the finest steaks, the freshest seafood, and, most importantly, an extensive, award-winning wine list. Michaela identifies standout,  Old and New World favorites, wines to pair with salmon, tuna, scallops, and spicy dishes, and a chardonnay with bright acidity, ripe green apple, and ripe pear, along with notes of brioche and honey with a creamy finish.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2021 Badenhorst “Secateurs” Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa

  • 2020 Domaine Frederic Esmonin Les Genevrieres, Burgundy

  • 2019 Mer Soleil, Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Transcript: Trio Grill

Trio Grill:

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 Trio Grill. Located in Falls Church, VA, this classic, American grill features steaks, seafood, and is your go to for any special occasion.

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

MQ: Here we have another wine Spectator Award-winning wine list consisting of truly stand-out Old and New World favorites.

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 2021 Badenhorst ‘Secateurs’ Chenin Blanc from Swartland, South Africa. This is a beautiful Chenin Blanc. It is medium-bodied with bright acidity, notes of pear, tangerine, lemon zest, and dried apricot, with a touch of honey on the finish. Pair this white wine with salmon, tuna, scallops, and spicy dishes.

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

MQ: I spotted an Old-World favorite to pair with classic American grill fare. Consider the 2020 Domaine Frederic Esmonin Les Genevrieres from Burgundy, France. This Pinot Noir from Genevrieres, which is a Premier Cru commune within Burgundy. This classic Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with notes of cranberries, ripe raspberries, sage, mushrooms, and a hint of clove on the finish due to its time aging in French oak. The soft tannins and bright acidity add to the pleasure of this Pinot Noir. Pair with herbed dishes and lightly 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: If you are considering rich seafood such as scallops, tuna, or lobster, then you must try the 2019 Mer Soleil, Reserve Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands in California. This oaked Chardonnay offers both bright acidity, ripe green apple, and ripe pear, along with notes of brioche and honey with a creamy finish. The body and richness of this wine will certainly complement herbed proteins and well.

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 your table has been eyeing steak or other rich, steakhouse fare, then consider another classic, the 2018 Muga Reserva from the Rioja in Spain. While the Muga family has been making wine since 1932, they established their winery in 1968 and have since been crafting spectacular wines. The excellent structure of this Tempranillo along with aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, cassis, dried lavender, and notes of cocoa on the finish make this bottle a winner for the table. 

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: If you are considering a more mineral and dry Chardonnay, consider the Zuccardi Q Series from Mendoza, Argentina. This Chardonnay is medium-bodied and showcases aromas of lime zest, ripe pear, bright acidity, and white pepper on the finish. Pair with lighter fare, and cheese, all for an excellent value.

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

MQ: another standout producer is Yalumba. If you are looking for a rich, bold red of excellent quality and value, consider the 2014 Yalumba, the Cigar, Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawara, Australia. This Cabernet Sauvignon features ripe blackberries, black cherries, and plumb, with a lingering finish consisting of leather, smoke, mint, and sage. A wonderful consideration for your richly sauced proteins and pasta.  

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

MQ: A wine to consider to take your dining experience to the next level, would be the classic 2012 Sandrone, Cannubi Boschis, Barolo from the Piedmont of Italy. This Northern Italian, 100% Nebbiolo is truly something to savor. It is bold, full-bodied, and complex, featuring aromas and flavors of ripe raspberries, fig, smoke, tobacco, and lavender, with nutmeg and cinnamon on the lingering finish. The aromatics of this wine are stellar as well, and you can begin enjoying them while you are decanting this bottle! A classic wine, and wine region to pair with any special occasion.

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