Available on

About this Episode

Michaela Quinlan, certified sommelier and Robert Tas explore the wine list at Tuscarora Mill, affectionately known as Tuskies. While the cuisine here is classic American fare, the wine list offers an extensive choice of Old World and New World favorites, organic and biodynamic selections, and several, carefully selected local wines. Michaela kicks off the review in Italy, moves over to Spain, and continues the exploration of wines from France, Portugal, and Argentina; she also identifies a few exceptional local wines from Virginia. 

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Borgo Paglianetto Verdicchio, Marche of Italy

  • 2019 Bodegas Epifanio Erial from Ribera del Duero, Spain

  • 2019 Domaine Equis, Domaine des Lises from the Crozes-Hermitage

Transcript: Tuscarora

Tuscarora Mill

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 Tuscarora Mill. Located in Leesburg, VA, Tuskie’s, as the locals call it, was once a grain mill dating back to 1899. Today, Tuskie’s features classic American fare for lunch, brunch, dinner, and special events.

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

MQ: Tuskie’s has several areas for special events from wine-paired dinners to large weddings, along with off-site catering. As you can imagine, their wine list features an extensive assortment of Old World and New World favorites, organic and biodynamic selections, along with several local wines.

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

MQ: The first wine that caught my eye was the 2020 Borgo Paglianetto Verdicchio from the Marche of Italy. The Marche is located along the calf of the boot of Italy. This Verdicchio features bright acidity, lime zest, with notes of ripe green apple and pear. The mineral finish and note of salinity make this white wine an excellent pairing for charcuterie and shellfish.

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

MQ: Heading to Spain, a red wine to consider would be the 2019 Bodegas Epifanio Erial from Ribera del Duero. This red is 100% Tempranillo and is your go to for richly sauced proteins, such as steak and pork. You can always count on Tempranillo for the excellent balance of ripe red fruit such as blackberries and blueberries, along with earth and smoke on the finish. Tempranillo is also an excellent pairing for anything from the grill. 

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 looking for something sparkling and/or local, consider the Thibaut-Janisson Extra Brut from Charlottesville, VA. This standout sparkler consists of 100% Chardonnay grapes and minimal dosage. Dosage being the added sugar or blend of wine and sugar added to sparkling wines. Therefore, this wine maintains bright acidity with notes of ripe pear, hazelnuts, almonds, and brioche on the finish. Enjoy this sparkler as an aperitif or to pair with shellfish and fried dishes.

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 beautiful, classic red wine to consider for the table would be the 2019 Domaine Equis, Domaine des Lises from the Crozes-Hermitage appellation of the Northern Rhone of France. This 100% Syrah is rich and full bodied. Grown in rock and gravel, this Syrah features excellent minerality and bright acidity with notes of ripe red cherries, black pepper, clove, and sage. Another standout wine to pair with richly sauced or herbed 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: A white wine of excellent quality and value is the 2020 Soalheiro Alvarinho from Moncao in Northern Portugal. Similar styles of Alvarinho may be noted as Vinho Verde. This Alvarinho is light and dry with notes of lemon zest, grapefruit, ripe peach, with slight effervescence and a mineral finish. Pair this white with light seafood and shellfish.

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

MQ: Another consistently stellar red wine of excellent value is the 2018 Chakana Ayni Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. Consider this Malbec when you are looking for a rich, full bodied red wine with soft, round tannins, bright red cherries, ripe blueberries, and a finish consisting of earth, smoke, and vanilla.

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

MQ: Tuskie’s wine list certainly features an extensive number of high-end wines to take your dining experience or celebratory event to the next level. A wine to consider is the 2014 Chateau Cos d’Estournel Grand Cru from Saint- Estephe in Bordeaux, France. Chateau Cos d’Estournel has been producing wine since the late 1700’s on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. This 98-point rated wine consists of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. This collectable red is well-balanced featuring dried strawberries and ripe blackberries, along with notes of mushroom, sage, and earth. This vintage is now ready to enjoy following some decanting. Truly a wine to celebrate along with any special event.

RT: Michaela Thank you so much for all your great suggestions and helping us navigate Tuscarora Mill’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!