Every winery has a story, don’t you think? Well, let’s get more specific, as I’m certain every winery has multiple stories to tell, but I mean about how the winery came into being. Two Corks and a Bottle, a neat urban winery tucked into the heart of Uptown Dallas has a story that begins with a brother making wine in a local shop in Fenton, Michigan, for family Christmas gifts.
Bob Ley made Bob’s Brew for his siblings, including John Ley, (the then future winemaker and proprietor of Two Corks and a Bottle), in 2008. John was working at U.T. Southwestern at the time, but was in the early stages of contemplating what his next career might be. The empty bottle is proudly displayed behind the tasting bar at Two Corks and a Bottle.
John enjoys sharing the story about taking an interest in this wine making his brother was doing. The following year Bob invited John to go along when he was going to make some more wine. John was immediately intrigued with the shop Bob was going to where he would select the type of wine he wanted to make, get it started right there that afternoon, and voila six weeks later, come back bottle, label, and cork the wine.
While there, John noticed the shop was a franchise, because brochures were available. John took a brochure, brought it back to Dallas, told his best friend Elwyn about it, they decided to begin investigating, and after researching less than a handful of franchises like the one in Michigan, the two of them were in California checking out the Wine Not International winery system.
By 2011, one thing led to another and now Two Corks and a Bottle is thriving in a hustling bustling residential neighborhood in Uptown surrounded by trendy restaurants, office buildings, and well-appointed residential apartment complexes.
When you arrive at Two Corks and a Bottle, you’re greeted by smooth jazz and the friendly hello of John and his staff. If you’re stopping in for a tasting, you’ll taste five wines for a tasting fee. John keeps two whites, four reds, and two fruit wines well stocked. The wines are produced and bottled on premise and made from the finest grapes available in the U.S. as well as globally. Two Corks began as a Wine Not Int’l franchise, but now operates independently. They source their juice from Constellation brands. With Constellation brands as a supplier, you can expect great options with true international flavors. I sampled a new vintage of John’s Cabernet Sauvignon called Liza (sourced in Spain) which was wonderful. The options for wines to make by the batch, purchase by the bottle or glass, or taste are numerous. Click to check their menu.
There is beautiful mixed media art work made by local artists displayed (and for sale) on the winery walls. Plus there’s a smart assortment of tasteful wine related gift items and gift bags to suit everyone’s tastes. It is super easy to stop in and out to pick up the right wine you need to take as a hosting gift to the next dinner party you’re attending.
If your stops at pubs and restaurants include coming across Social Ice, a popsicle style frozen wine treat produced by a Texas winery and local farms, you can find Social Ice at Two Corks and a Bottle. This is an excellent item for the winery to incorporate into their long list of offerings which provides them a tie to Texas wines.
Two Corks boasts a vibrant Wine Club too, with three club levels to select from ranging from one bottle per month for $20 to two bottles per month for $41. All three levels offer nice discounts on cases, special wine making batches, batch adoptions, wine accessories, and special event invites.
Speaking of special events, this is where Two Corks and a Bottle shines in Uptown:
- My personal favorite is pizza night on the 1st Thursdays of the month. Chef TJ’s mobile pizza oven is parked outside the front door, and what’s not to love about a wonderful wood fired, made to order pizza and a bottle of wine?
- Thursday through Saturday evenings at the winery you’ll find live entertainment.
- Jenga tournaments and game nights are popular
- Food and wine pairings partnered with basic wine education are a frequent offering
- In addition to live entertainment, John sometimes has a stand-up comic in the winery
- Paint Like Picasso and Corks & Clay art events are usually sold out
- Singles nights for the straight or gay community members in the neighborhood, too
Brides and Grooms are regular customers of the winery. You can have a Wedding Party Bottling Party and
- Create your own Personal Vintage
- Bottle your own wine
- Use your specially produced wine for your rehearsal dinner or reception
- Or host your Bridal Shower or Bachelorette party with Two Corks and a Bottle and make it unique and special thanks to the customization options available.
If you’re looking for a super special, milestone gift for someone, stop by, taste some wines, select a wine you like, buy a bottle, and have a personalized label created for that special someone. This is a great idea for customized corporate gifts as well.
John also has a heart for philanthropy. On two occasions my Rotary club has hosted fundraisers at Two Corks and a Bottle, and John donates a portion of the evening’s wine sales to our club’s community service projects. Several different organizations in the community enjoy hosting fundraising events at Two Corks and a Bottle.
Next time you’re in Uptown, check out Two Corks and a Bottle. Hang out with John and his staff for the evening, or make them your pre or post dinner out stop. You’ll enjoy. They’ll arrange for you to enjoy a cheese plate from Scardello’s Artisan cheese shop, nearby, if you’d like. And did I mention they have delicious custom made chocolates and cake balls on the tasting bar to complement their wines? Yum!