DC Wineaux visits Cork and Fork

Kristi Green is the author of the blog DC Wineaux. She further indulges her love of wine in her work at a wine bar on U St NW.

Cork and Fork (1522 14th St NW) is a reasonably new addition to the network of wine shops that weaves its way across our fair city. This bright little boutique is run by the Landragin family who own two other shops by the same name; one in Bethesda, MD and one in Gainesville, VA. The founder and official owner/operator is Dominique Landragin.

Dominique Landragin was born in the heart of France’s Champagne region where his grandfather was once a manager at Veuve Cliquot Vineyards, a premier producer of Champagne. Before coming to Washington, Landragin made a lasting impression on the wine world by co-founding Yellowglen, the first Methode Champenoise producer in Australia. This means that the production followed the rules set by the French government for sparkling wine from the Champagne region to the letter–and largely to Landragin’s credit.

The staff, particularly Monsieur Landragin himself, are charming and knowledgeable. If you need a recommendation, don’t hesitate to ask–I’ve not been disappointed yet. The best and worst thing about being such a “wineaux” is that, by having so much knowledge, I have too much to consider when choosing a bottle.

Nearly each time I’ve gone to Cork and Fork I’ve asked for a recommendation. The only time I did not request a recommendation was my first time in the shop, a hot day last summer, and I picked up juicy, bright white Bordeaux and a six pack of some light variety of Eggenberg beer from Austria. On various recommendations I’ve purchased an organic Cotes du Rhone, an organic Pinot Noir from Austria, a bold Spanish Monastrell based blend from Jumilla, a very well priced Chateau-neuf-du-Pape and countless other delicious finds.

Continues after the jump.

The selection is great with something for each palette and price range–definitely better than the Whole Foods on P St. The shelves are stocked with rare, exciting and funky varieties of both old and new world wines–be sure to check out the selection of bubblies and fancy stuff behind the counter! (Also for those not so wine-inclined, Cork and Fork has a pretty fabulous beer selection!)

At the recommendation of the Cork and Fork staff, a Pinot Noir/Syrah blend from France!


La Maison Galhaud/Cotes Catalanes, France/Pinot Noir/Syrah/2006


smoky, tannic, reds


a huge burgundy glass and a block of stinky cheese. and perhaps “Amelie,” this wine is very French!


medium to full bodied, high tannin. on the nose: dark berries and deep earth. on the palate: powerful fruit, red spice, dry finish of blackberry and oak.

12 Comment

  • cork and fork needs to put price labels on their wines. i’ve been in there twice to look for something only to leave empty handed because i couldn’t tell whether i was looking at a $15 bottle or a $50 bottle.

  • While I like the fact that C&F do offer a slightly different selection of wines than you’d normally see at the usual wine store (no Yellow Tail here!), the reality is that I’m not often in the market for a bottle of wine priced upwards of $20 and the vast majority of their store is comprised of $20+ bottles. Sure, they do have some in the $10-$20 range, but its very limited.

    • next time don’t be afraid to ask for help! there is no shame whatsoever in telling a server/clerk/bartender your likes AND your price range–it is much easier for them to recommend something you’re likely to buy. In stead of telling them you like red wine, give them some real direction–try something like, “I’m serving a pot roast tonight. I would like a bottle of red wine that would pair nicely with it that is in the $15-$25 range.”

  • “And like a bottle of Chateau-neuf-du-Pape,
    I’m fine like wine when I start to rap . . .”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Favorite wine store east of MacArthurs. They actually stock producers that have a reputation, instead of 100x of cheap Malbec with cute names.

    • i couldn’t agree more–if i see one more bottle of “funky llama” (or any of the other kitchy-named malbecs) i’m going to barf. next time your in C & F pick up a bottle of Fleches de los Andres Gran Corte (Mendoza, Argentina)–it is a representation of what malbec should be–a blend aged in 100% old french oak that is big and rich! (get one funky llama drinker to try it and they’ll think twice before getting the cheap malbec again!)

  • I think it’s sad that they built this massive wall to hide the shop just behind a giant window. And what is it with the colors?!?! Was Duron having a sale on clashing primaries? To top it off they have a most hideous fake flower arrangemnt between the glass/wall. Lovely. And finallly, at night when closed they shove this creaky folding screen behind the glass door. geez. Why didn’t they just install bullet proof glass? This place REEKS of anti-neighborliness.

  • Great post series

  • perhaps the decor isn’t your favorite, but the staff are the epitome of neighborliness–if you manage to go in there again, just talk to somebody, i’m sure you’ll feel welcome!

  • Never judge a book by its cover. The important thing is to know the merchandise inside out… They do. Literally.

  • …I understand that to some degree. But when you open up a shop in a thriving neighborhood, I think it would be nice to be ‘a part’ of the neighborhood. The design decisions scream “we are afraid of this neighborhood, but oh hey, please come in and spend your money.” There are other wine stores in the immediated vicinity that get it just right.

  • Great Review !

    But, I have to second midcityguy….for my take, there’s something fairly off about their window, and door at night (I had thought the same thing long before), especially since most upscale shops in France have fantastic ‘curb appeal’ from my point of view. I mean this in a helpful way cause I really want them to be successful.

    Chaqun a son…

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