Elizabeth’s Pick: Cork Dork Wine Co.

Photo by Amber Procaccini Photography

How could I not know about this place? And: Am I in heaven? These two thoughts ran simultaneously through my head as I surveyed Cork Dork Wine Co, a slip of a shop in Nokomis. Situated unceremoniously next to Carbone’s Pizza and across the street from SuperValu (so they do still exist), the 400-square-foot store is easy to miss but impossible to forget. Proprietor Russell Fay, an unaffected, utterly approachable wine connoisseur, opened Cork Dork about a year and a half ago. After years of serving as a wine expert in some of the Cities’ top restaurants, including Heartland and The Craftsman, he was ready for a more family-friendly schedule. 

Fay tastes every wine before he orders it—and likes every bottle he carries. He doesn’t sell anything that he can’t offer at a fair price, and that puts the majority of the shop’s stock under $20. It’s a no-frills establishment to be sure: wine boxes serve as display cases and poster board as signage. Fay hand-writes prices and descriptions using magic marker. But everything you want from a wine shop Cork Dork delivers in spades. Fay is a master at sourcing under-the-radar vintages, at pairing them with whatever you’re cooking, and at sending you home with a half dozen bottles that you’re EXCITED to try. Even if the only thing you know is that you prefer pink Champagne to Prosecco (ahem), Fay is going to ensure that you get the best bubbly of the bunch for your budget—and you’re assured of totally geeking out over how good it really is.

Cork Dork Wine Co.: 4726 Cedar Ave., Mpls., 612-721-9463, Corkdorkwineco.com

Photo by Amber Procaccini Photography


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