As big fans of folk who do things a little bit different, are unafraid to innovate and go that ‘extra mile’, we’d heard a thing or two about developments at Corks Out in Stockton Heath. Having not been there for sometime, we thought we would pop along last week to check it out.
Part of the ever-growing enterprise founded in 2003 by Liverpudlian Ruth Yates, it now boasts of 6 wine stores located in the north-west (Alderley Edge, Chester, Heswall, Timperley and Stockton Heath).
The Stockton Heath store, where it all began for Corks Out, has blossomed into a wine shop-cum-bar and a thriving hub of activity where you can still mooch around the eclectic range in the wine shop to pick up some competitively priced (fine) wines, spirits, craft beer and real ales, cocktails and champers, which adorn the shelves floor to ceiling. Alternatively, you can sit down, inside or out (there are outside heaters if it gets a bit ‘chilly’), and buy and indulge in some scrumptious wines by the bottle or glass and there’s even a Champagne Trio (taster of 3 different Champagnes for £14.99) if bubbles takes your fancy. They have teas and coffee as well as some tasty food accompaniments.
I have a lot of respect in the wine world because of my buying experience and negotiating skills which help me get good prices and pass them on to customers. But it’s all about marketing and you cant stop for a single second. You have to keep ahead of the game, watch out for new trends and make certain you offer excellent service” Ruth Yates
There’s the obligatory yet decent wine list but, if you’re unsure what to choose and worried about pushing the boat out with a wine you’ve never tried before, they’ve installed the iconic Italian “Wine Juke Boxes”. These clever wine tasting-machines can hold numerous opened wines in a temperature-controlled environment that is sealed with nitrogen stopping any oxidation whilst retaining freshness. Trying before you buy, you just get yourself one of their ‘contactless payment credit cards’, put some credit on it so you can browse and serve yourself. They do a loyalty scheme if you’re a regular so keep topping it up! What was really nice to see was that Corks Out hadn’t just put in any old cheap stuff in their machines; there were some real goodies available.
Sitting in their “secret wine garden”, we plumped for the Cannonball Chardonnay (Sonoma, California) at £24.99 (£18.99 if you buy to take away). Deliciously full bodied, creamy and buttery with bags of stone fruit (peaches), citrus fruit, toast and nuts (French oak but restrained) and paired it with the baked Camembert platter. The Cannonball was that good we took some away!
Situated in the hub of this upmarket part of Warrington where Porches and Mercedes are a plenty, it’s a friendly and unpretentious hidey-hole so a great place to go to unwind and enjoy some fabulous wines!
Corks Out have been gathering a plethora of accolades over the yars, including 2015 Small Chain of the Year (Off Licence News Awards 2015), 2014 Top Merchant of the Year (Harpers Awards 2014) etc etc and quite rightly so. It’s well worth a visit and we highly recommend it.
Where are they? Corks Out Stockton Heath, 96 London Road, Stockton Heath, Warrington. WA4 6LE.
How to get a hold of them? t: 01925 267700, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
When are they open? Monday to Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-10pm and Sunday 12-9pm