Walking out of the blinding sun into Kork in downtown Miami is a little like walking into a teleportation device. Suddenly, you've been transported into a 1920s speakeasy in Chicago or New Orleans. Guy, the barkeep, welcomes you to pull up an ebony bar stool or hide out in the downstairs wine cellar, as the strains of jazz waft into your soul.
General manager Maria Munoz-Bastos tells Short Order that Kork's goal is to become a local hangout. The wine lounge-speakeasy plans to have more than 500 different wines when all their shipments have been delivered. Right now, they're at 200 to 300 different bottles -- enough to make exploration worthwhile.
Wines are available both by the bottle and glass, with bottles available
for retail purchase, as well. Bottle prices range from the
ultra-affordable $10 for a Sterling Pinot Grigio to $140 for a 1992
French Bordeaux. Most bottles fall in the $20-30 range. A $10 corkage
fee applies to all bottles, except during happy hour, Monday thru Friday
from 4 to 7 p.m., where the fee is waived.
At any given time, there are about 20 different red wines and six white
wines available by the glass, but if you don't see anything you like,
Kork will open just about any bottle for a single pour. "It happens all
the time", said Bastos, who noted that just the other day a customer
asked for a bottle to be opened for just one glass of Sauvignon Blanc
during lunch. By the end of the hour, the entire bottle was gone, with a
second bottle purchased for home.
Kork also has a cheese counter,
complete with a monger on duty. Cheeses range from the accessible
Mozzarella and Brie to the more exotic, like a French Mimolette, in
which cheese mites help the cheese gain flavor and a distinctive grey
crust. Cheeses and meats are sold by the pound and in platters and
sandwiches. For instance, a two-cheese platter will cost $11.95, a one
cheese/one meat platter is $12.95, and prices range upwards form there.
All platters come with bread and a choice of accompaniments like
cornichons, black olives or quince paste.
The lounge plans on
having weekly live music, wine tastings and cheese-making classes, with
their first wine tasting scheduled for September 28. The event will
be an intimate tasting reserved for 11 people.
celebrating their grand opening with a party this Friday
from 6 to 10 p.m. The party is open to the public, featuring live
music, complimentary tastings, and specially priced bottles.
Here's a list of Kork's featured wines for September. (Staff favorites are marked with stars.)
Hess Collection $16.99 Bottle $9.00 Glass *
Silver Palm $15.99 Bottle $8.00 Glass *
Freemark Abbey $36.99 Bottle $15.50 Glass
Mitolo Jester $20.00 Bottle $10.50 Glass
Montes Classic $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Bogle $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Provenance $23.99 Bottle $11.00 Glass
Santa Ema Res $16.99 Bottle $8.00 Glass *
La Crema $37.99 Bottle $17.50 Glass *
Newton $21.99 Bottle $10.00 Glass
Acacia $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Pascual Toso $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Pascual Toso $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Kaiken $15.99 Bottle $8.00 Glass *
Archaval Ferrer $36.99 Bottle $17.00 Glass *
Maso Canali $16.99 Bottle $8.00 Glass *
Altadonna $13.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
La Crema $29.99 Bottle $17.50 Glass
Murphy Goode $12.99 Bottle $6.50 Glass
Dog Point $43.99 Bottle $19.50 Glass *
White Haven $16.99 Bottle $8.00 Glass *
Sacred Hill $10.99 Bottle $5.50 Glass
Murphy Goode $10.99 Bottle $5.50 Glass
Matanzas Creek $23.99 Bottle $11.00 Glass *
A selection of cheese from Kork's cheese counter.
Kork's main bar beckons you to sit for a while.
Weekly tastings will be held in the intimate cellar.
Assistant manager Hely Rodriguez samples wine. Tough job.
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Bartender Guy Gilbert will help you select your new favorite wine.