Jery Pellegrino, co-owner and occasional chef at Corks
restaurant in Baltimore, has an interesting philosophy
for composing wine lists. If a particular wine is selling
well, he replaces it.
"We had some Sonoma-Cutrer chardonnay and it was
selling really well," he said. "So I took it
off the list."
In what must be the oddest twist on wine list, Mr.
Pelligrino is hellbent on steering customers away from
popular labels. By denying them their customary
favorites, he encourages them to try unusual grape
varieties or at least obscure producers of familiar grape
varieties. For instance, you won't find on his extensive
wine list KendallJackson's Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
even though it's the best-selling restaurant chardonnay.
Ask for a recommendation and you may get Kalin Semillon
Open only six months, this small Federal Hill restaurant
that boasts of "non-stuffy fine dining"
concentrates exclusively on domestic wine. All of the
wines are priced $11 over wholesale cost, an amount
determined to give the owners an average profit and the
customer a good deal. There are great wines on the list
for less than $20.
The practice of offering good, unusual wines applies to
the wine-by-the-glass program too. Four red wines from
Marietta, including the jammy Old Vines Lot 20, were
being offered the night we were there.
Corks also offers wine dinners and wine appreciation
classes. To get on a mailing list, call (410) 752-3810.
Published 10/15/97, The Capital,
Copyright © 1997 The
Capital, Annapolis, Md.