CORKS Out, situated in Chester city centre, is becoming the hub of wine and spirits in Watergate Street.
With the recent refurbishment, the award winning merchants are becoming all round specialists with the addition of tapas and light bites to their tasting menu to accompany the drink of choice.
Over the Christmas period the store has had a handful of tasting events, with Buffalo Chase Whiskey, Portobello Gin and Veuve Clicquot all hosting their own evenings. In addition to these one-off tastings, there is an in-built wine tasting bar.
Rustically set in a beautiful 13th century crypt, the beautiful stone room was the perfect place for wine. As I walked in I felt as though I had travelled back in time to a medieval cellar or some sort of mythical cave. There were two machines which stored the wine to be tasted, one holding the red, and one chilled to hold the white and rose. Racks of glasses line the brilliantly lit Roman stonework, making it easy to arm oneself with a flute, hock or tulip. The machines dispensed the wine in three different measurements, and are paid for using the pre-credited cards purchased from the till. They are easy to use, and once they are inevitably (and all too quickly) empty, they are easy to re-fill; as are the wine glasses. I also thought the prices within this individual, professional store were fantastic. I greatly appreciated the option to try the wine from as little as 50p, which I believe proves that the owners are genuinely interested in giving you the best experience possible without breaking the bank.
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and eager to help and advise without being too assertive, which I found extremely beneficial as, before heading to the store, I did not know a great deal about the products that they stocked. They were happy to discuss and share their own opinions about the weird and wonderful wines and spirits on offer, but also let me enjoy the delicious drinks and atmosphere, and relish the experience as a whole.
Corks Out has managed to perfectly balance themselves between a bar and a store. I believe that Chester’s addition of this small, independent business- a business who pride themselves on their passion and honesty- is a breath of fresh air on a street, which in the last six months, has seen huge chains such as Costa and Sainsbury’s wedge their way into Watergate Street.
I truly enjoyed every minute spent within this quirky cavern, from the moment I walked in I was warmly welcomed, and would recommend as the perfect place to buy a special gift for someone or just learn more about the wines of the world.