November 28, 2014

Executive Lifestyles - Dining & Spirits

Uncorking A Niche

Robert W. Tolf | 6/1/2006

Cork & Olive customers check out the merchandise before buying.
Another confirmation of the increasing importance of Florida as a leading wine-consuming state is the popularity of Tampa-based Estate Wine Group's growing chain of Cork & Olive retail stores and its home and catered events offerings. Wine-selling giants regularly schedule wine tastings, and leading wineries are, of course, ready to sponsor vintner dinners with the winemaker present. But Cork & Olive found a new niche, providing the wines in their neighborhood retail shops -- reasonably priced wines typically from modest, family-owned vineyards -- and having available an all-day, everyday user-friendly table of wines to taste. "Try Before You Buy" is their sales motto as is "Trust Your Taste," working customers through the selection process for home consumption or business tastings, where Cork & Olive can help with the catering, providing all the necessary glassware, spill buckets and wine guides to discuss and discourse in a non-stuffy way the virtues of all the wines being poured.

Cork & Olive Locations

Brandon*
? 801 Providence Road
Clearwater
? 2534 N. McMullen Booth Rd.
727/791-8343
Lakeland
? 1486 Town Center Drive
863/682-8980
Largo
? 861 West Bay Drive
727/581-7392
St. Petersburg
? 944 4th St. N., Suite 500
727/823-8016
Tampa
? 1110 S. Dale Mabry Hwy.
813/251-9098
? 10019 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Suite 700*
? 13998 W. Hillsborough Road*
Valrico
? 3468 Lithia Pinecrest Rd.
813/661-8999
Wesley Chapel
? 1269 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
813/907-9900

*Under construction

Clients can complete a Pour & Score card to be used when ordering the wines wanted for individual tastings and also sample extra-virgin olive oils and a variety of blended spices for fresh-bread dipping. As an additional convenience, there are monthly Sip & Dip sessions featuring a variety of wines from various regions, paired with an assortment of complementing appetizers. Local artists and performers are invited to show their skills and promote future performances.

Estate Wine Group hopes to have 15 to 20 Cork & Olive stores in operation by the end of the year, and franchise opportunities are in the works. Uncorking


Wine & Spirits

RED
Tacama Gran Tinto 2004
$10
Peru
Outstanding full-bodied standard table red from Peru's Ica Valley, home to one of the oldest vineyards in the New World, producing wines as early as 1540 and blending harmoniously French varietals Malbec, Tannat and Petit Verdot.

WHITE
Durbanville Hills -- Sauvignon Blanc 2005
South Africa
$13
Cool Atlantic mists extend the maturation of this intensely fruit forward South African wine with hints of grassiness, gooseberries and figs making it a good friend for light summer eating.

TEQUILA
Don Julio Anejo Tequila
Mexico
$57
With overabundant harvests of agave, prices are friendlier to the budget, but you'll still pay dearly for top-of-the-line, suitable for sipping and savoring in the best tradition of fine cognac

Tags: Tampa Bay

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