With the opening of new wine bars faster than you can say “Cabernet” I have been on a quest to try them all. So, we went to try Grand Vin. I had not been there in a very long time. When I walked in, the overwhelming stench of stale smoke embedded in the walls and carpet reminded me why. The wine store part of the place had nothing I would be inspired to buy, yet there were three large Vinotemps, each with signs that said “Ask us for a list of the stuff that is in here”. We strolled over to the bar area and perused what was on offer. None of the wines on the limited list were of interest to me. During the entire time we were there nobody could be bothered to acknowledge our presence. I guess they thought we were tourists who would never come back. Well, they were half right.
Disappointed, we moved two blocks south to Cork and Stogie. Thus far, we had only been here during last year’s wine festival, when they were crowded and pouring something gross. I am glad we went back. Upon entering the shop we were immediately greeted with a friendly “Hi. How can we help you?” The shop is tiny, but they have a large selection of by-the-glass wines. The owners are friendly, and when I was debating about what to have, Dave pulled out a fresh bottle and poured me a taste. He was quick to point out the wine they were out of, and also to suggest the more popular wines. He would have let me taste a whole bunch until I found one I liked. It’s a good thing Dave doesn’t know quite how picky I can be! I can’t comment on the cigar selection, as I can’t stand the things, but they did seem to have a lot of them.
We sat at the four stool bar, talked to the owners and some other customers and had a great time. I could have stayed for quite a while if I wasn’t committed to getting dinner.
Cork and Stogie is not fancy, it is not pretentious and it is great. I will be back, over and over again. Cork and Stogie is what Grand Vin should strive to be.