With the craft beer industry growing so rapidly in Hampton Roads, the news of a new local wine bar opening was a quick attention draw for me.
My husband’s forte has been beer for years, but my heart has always been set on wine. There are a few chain or large-owned wine bars in the area, but locally speaking, only a few are really set up as wine bars. Mermaid Winery and Press 626, both with locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach now, were my first stops when planning wine trips with friends (the latter being my favorite).
When I heard that a new wine bar was opening up this upcoming weekend, I had to check out their soft opening. The Corkscrew Wine War is located at 244 Granby Street, Suite A, but in actuality, the front door is located around the side, off of Tazewell. It is right next to the beautiful Wells Theatre.
The restaurant is small, with clean lines and is a welcoming, uncluttered space. It has a very downtown city feel. There are communal style seating areas, separate small tables, high top tables, and bar seating. The most impressing features about this place is not found in what you can immediately see, though.
The impressive wine list for bottles is realistically priced, and there is a good selection of wines on tap with flights available. The wines chosen for this venue include organic and sustainable choices, and include many you may not have seen before. The menu is minimal, but Chef Nelson Miller made a point to explain that he is happy to make personalized meals if a patron needs something that is not offered on the menu. While he said he prefers notice ahead of time, his ultimate goal is for each customer to have a wonderful experience while dining with The Corkscrew.
At one point, he even mentioned that he is up for a challenge when you may have an unwilling guest join your dinner group. “Bring me your worst, and I’ll feed you my best,” said Nelson, stating that he wants the food and experience to change attitudes.
Refreshingly unpretentious, this restaurant is approachable for anyone interested in wine. In the future, Nelson plans to add a very select beer and spirits menu, but for now, the focus is just on the wine. Other potential additions in the future include Sunday family-style meals, as well as special thematic tastings or flights. Want a little insider information? If you’re dying to try a wine that is only offered in the bottle, you can request it by glass for an extra fee as Chef Nelson keeps a Coravin on hand for such occasions.
I highly recommend giving The Corkscrew a try. If you are walking around downtown or if you are near for a show, stop by for a flight and maybe stay for a delicious meal.