Corks pops at BVI
Wine bar offers a taste of‘comfortable chic
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests of the Bedford Village Inn’s new Corks wine bar will notice its uniqueness the minute they arrive at the modern glass door. Inside they will find a space that is, in one word, stunning — exactly what owner Jack Carnevale and his son, sommelier Jon Carnevale, envisioned when the idea was first conceived.
“Most of the people who come through here describe it as comfortable chic … it’s different from the rest of the inn, but it still fits in with our style,” Jack said.
Jon added, “We wanted an approachable and fun space for people who like wine.”
Unlike the high-end New England-inn feel of the rest of the property, Corks is slightly more modern and urban without being cold. The walls are covered in warm cork wallpaper with cherry-wood wainscoting and millwork. The floor is made of bamboo and covered with oriental area rugs. An eye-catching linear burn system — a strip of flame three feet long and one foot high set off by black granite — highlights one wall. Robert Allen furniture completes the look in a combination of leather and upholstered fabrics, with glicee artwork created from vintage champagne foil.
Besides the linear burn system, two other features stand out. One is the bar itself, with an onyx top that will soon be illuminated so the grain will show through. The other is the state-of-the-art Cruvinet system, which keeps opened bottles of wine at a constant temperature and fills them with argon gas to preserve the wine much longer than just re-corking would. This allows the bar to offer many high-end wines by the glass.
“This system will keep an open bottle of wine for 30 to 45 days without altering the taste,” Jon said. “It’s allowing people to sample more expensive wines. You really won’t find these wines by the glass anywhere else.”
Along with the special wines by the glass, the normal glass selection is also available. Prices range from $5 to $9. There are also wine flights offered, one which features syrah, one of California selections, a light Italian flight, and another of quality wines that have screwcaps.
Wine lovers can also try to blend their own wine. Beakers of three 100-percent varietal wines from Clos LaChance Winery are provided for guests to blend together in their own glass — a little bit of this one with a little bit of that one — to create a wine to suit their tastes. The menu calls it a chemistry set for adults. Jon said, “They will be doing basically what winemakers do when creating their blends. It’s meant to be fun, not serious. It makes for good conversation and is great for a couple on a date.”
Wine is not the only available beverage. Corks serves beer, with three unique on-tap selections, some bottled usual suspects, and some very unusual bottle selections, such as Gulden Draak Flemish Strong Dark Ale and Kriek Black Cherry Lambic from Belgium. There are also fun martini selections, such as a sake martini, a pink prozac (Grey Goose citrus vodka, lime, grapefruit and cranberry juice) and a French 76 (Grey Goose Vodka, cointreau, champagne, simple syrup and lemon juice), which is said to have the kick of the gun by the same name.
Corks has its own menu to go with the beverages. Guests can create their own cheese board from a selection of 12 varieties, or order the chef’s full cheese board. There are antipasto meats available, served with a house-made mustard and cornichons. Or customers can select items such as oysters on the half shell, chorizo lollipops, Kobe beef sliders or grilled Vermont quail. The Tavern’s menu is also offered in the wine bar.
Along with the creation of Corks, the downstairs Tavern (formerly the Tap Room) was also remodeled. It was a byproduct of the wine bar’s construction, which required the removal of the fireplace and chimney. This allowed the wall to an adjoining dining room to be removed and the Tavern’s seating to expand. New wallpaper and paint freshen the space without altering the look too much. And Jack said that, so far, no one has said they miss the fireplace.
Jack also noted that Corks is very much an adult-only space for people 21 and older. He hopes that will help maintain the relaxed, social atmosphere of the room so everyone can enjoy themselves. He said, “Guests feel a lot of excitement when they first come at finding a new spot to try out, and then they feel comfortable while they are here.”