Uncorked is a new wine shop located in the Falls River Shopping center just off of Durant Road in North Raleigh. It opened up just before the Christmas holiday and my wife and I have been meaning to check it out. A few weeks ago we met some friends there to take part in one of their free Friday night wine tasting events and we had a fantastic time trying new wines and meeting the owner. The store has a warm rustic interior reminiscent of a tasting room you might experience at a vineyard in Napa Valley, complete with, rocks adorning the walls by the tasting bar in the back and decorative wood beams overhead with a large chandelier illuminating the shop.
While speakingwith the friendly owner and he explained that they typically have a free wine tasting every Friday night from 5:30-7:30pm. These usually involve a mix of four to five red and white wines that you can sample with 2 ounce pours. They also offer some great cheese plates that you can purchase to compliment the wines you are trying. While my wife and I aren’t wine aficionados by any means, we really enjoy venturing out to these events because wine tasting is a great way to get exposed to new and exciting varieties of wines and discover new favorites. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet new people as we have noticed folks are very friendly at these types of events and it is easy to strike up a conversation with strangers and share stories about favorite wines and vineyards you have visited.
In addition to their excellent wine selection the unique appeal of Uncorked is the fact that they have roughly 48 wines on hand that you can sample any day of the week. They have these nifty automated sampling stations that dispense samples of their various wines in portions ranges from a “taste” to a half or full glass. You pay for the samples from these stations by using a pre-paid debit card that you can get at the store. Their is a digital display at each wine station with information on how much each taste costs and when you insert your tasting card it give you a status on your available balance. It is a fun way to try a whole host of wines and test out wines before you buy a whole bottle to drink at home or give as a gift.
Recently the folks at Uncorked added an outside patio with tables with umbrellas for customers to sit at while they enjoy wine at the shop. They even have musical entertainment on select weekend nights usually featuring acoustic guitar music. For more information about Uncorked you can check out their website. They also have a mailing list you can sign up for at the shop to be notified about the wines they will be tasting each Friday night and other upcoming special events. To view the rest of my pictures of Uncorked check out my flicker photo album.
Taylor’s Wine Shop in North Raleigh will host a Wine Tasting to benefit the Wake County Hospice Indigent Patient Fund on Thursday March 25, 2010 from 6 – 8pm. The suggested donation is $10. In addition to sampling some excellent wines there will be door prizes and a silent wine auction. This benefit is inspired by the life of Kathy Rose Short (July 21, 1955 – July 7, 2009) who fought a four year battle with cancer with grace, courage and dignity.
Sampling wines at Taylor’s is always fun and a nice way to meet new people. Please consider coming out this Thursday to enjoy some fantastic wines and help raise funds for this worthy cause. You can download the event flyer here. Please pass it along to your friends and spread the word about this great event!
My wife and I love to discover new places to try wine. Whether it is going on trips to vineyards or simply finding a cool local wine shop that holds tasting on the weekends. If they have wine, we want to check it out. Two weeks ago we were in downtown Wake Forest on a Saturday afternoon and we stopped by a little place called Twisted Vine. It is located on the second floor of an old brick building on White Street adjacent to the area where the farmers’ market is held in the spring and summer. The neat thing about the building it is in is that there is also a nice little coffee shop on the first floor. To get to the Twisted Vine you actually need to enter the coffee shop first and then go up stairs to enter the wine shop.
The wine shop has a nice little selection of wines at a range of prices and offers free wine tasting on Saturdays from 12-4. They were tasting four wines the day we stopped in. One was from NC and the remaining three were from Spain. The striking thing about this place is its ambiance. It has exposed brick walls, original hardwood floors, and wine barrel tables set up by windows overlooking white street. I’m pretty sure they serve wine by the glass and on occasion even have music. They also feature art from local artists and photographers. This is hidden gem in Wake Forest. It’s quiet atmosphere and historic surroundings makes this another one of those places that allows you to relax feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the modern-day Triangle!
For more information about Twisted Vine and their scheduled tasting events check out their website. And don’t forget that every second Friday is “Art After Hours” where you can discover the Arts in Downtown Wake Forest! This monthly event runs 5-9pm on the second Friday of each month and many of the local businesses like Twisted Vine stay open late for this event and feature artist openings, receptions and live music.
Last night my neighbor and I made the short trip over to the “Beer Olympics” over at my favorite wine store, Wine 101 in Wake Forest. As I described in an earlier post, the event was held in honor of the lighting of the olympic torch kicking off the 2010 winter olympics in Vancouver. The field of competition consisted of a grand total of 30 different beers from six different categories (Hefeweizen, Lagers, Belgians, IPAs, Strong IPAs, and Stouts). Joe, the owner of Wine 101, and his right hand man Jason poured 2 ounce tastes of each bear from unmarked half-gallon growlers. The honorable “ tasting judges” (myself and the 50 other people there) would then score each beer in this blind taste test on a scale of 1-10. At the end of the night the scores were to be tallied up and gold, silver, and bronze medals would be awarded in each category.
Although I didn’t plan on it, amazingly my friend and I made it through all 30 beers! This was in large part thanks to the dedicated staff at wine 101 who were working very hard to make sure everyone in the large crowd that came to the event had the opportunity to taste every beer. They were also incredibly consistent with their 2 oz. pours which went a long way to make sure you didn’t over do it and wouldn’t get worn out before making it through the catalogue of beers. As we worked our way through the many beers to taste I found that I was a big fan of the Hefeweizen and the Strong IPA’s but was not crazy about the Lagers and regular IPAs. The Jury is still out for me on the Stouts. I don’t think my palate is mature or fascinated enough to recognize a quality stout at this point! That is what year’s of drinking Coor’s Light and Corona will do to you I guess!
The “official” medal scoring is still being tallied and should be posted to their website soon, but in the meantime I did hear that one of the Hefeweizen I liked was the locally brewed Shotgun Betty from Lone Rider Brewery. I recently had this beer on a visit to the Rialto Theater in downtown Raleigh and think a visit to the brewery is in my future.
My friend and I met some very friendly people throughout the evening as we shared our critiques of each brew and debated which beer we liked best. As always, whether you’re looking for a bottle of wine for dinner, or just attending one of their wine or beer tasting events Wine 101 is at the top of my list of places to check out. It is not only a great wine shop (which sells great beers too), but Joe and his staff are so friendly and helpful which gives the shop a real social atmosphere with a “neighborhood store” vibe making it a great place to visit to get out and meet new people. For more information about Wine 101 and future events check you can sign up for teir newsletter on their website or follow Joe on twitter.