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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cork Me!

"You haven't drunk too much wine if you can still lie on the floor without holding on."
~ Dean Martin

As you know, we love wine. With brunch, lunch or dinner, or even on its own as a pre-party beverage before a night out... Anytime there's wine - we're in. 

But if you're out to dinner and you want to drink wine like Dean Martin - you'll need a Dean Martin sized bank account too. 

So then begins the fun game we all play of 'which bottle do I order that doesn't make me look like a total cheap ass, but also doesn't cost me a fortune?' 

My dad taught me you always pick the second least expensive bottle on the menu, and then pretend you've had it before. This makes it seem as though my 'inexpensive' wine selection  ($50 for what would have been $15 at Ralphs) is based on my discerning and experienced taste, and not my 'just outta college' budget. 

OKAY, so yes, we graduated three/four years ago. Quit rubbing it in and let me finish my story!!

Anyway... There are two alternate solutions to the wine-bottle game: 
1. Drink at home before dinner (and risk not remembering the meal)
2. Find a place with free or cheap corkage so you can bring your own cheapy bottle and drink for less

Option 2 is always the best solution. 

And now I present to you: FinerThingsLA's favorite free corkage spots around town: 

* Nook - 11628 Santa Monica Blvd #8, West LA
Free corkage on Mondays and Tuesdays only. Favorite items on the menu: Flat Iron Steak and the Burger (friends claim it rivals the F.O. Burger)  

* Colori Kitchen - 429 W. 8th St., Downtown
Family owned and run Italian spot, free corkage every day of the week. This place looks like a total hole-in-the-wall but it's actually the perfect date spot and you really can't go wrong with their homemade pasta. (Thanks for the tip Mr. Lobanov!)

Not free but cheap: 

* Allora Cucina Italiana - 8432 W. 3rd St, Mid-City-West
This place USED to have free corkage, but since they obtained their liquor license they started charging an $8 corkage fee. Not as good as gratis - but still relatively reasonable! While you're there drinking your weight in wine: try the mushroom ravioli, its tastey!

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