Corks Out Wine Bar TTDI – Best Wine Deals in KL
Words: Stephen Reid
Photos: Peter Tan
If you’re looking to enjoy a good glass of wine, you just might want to hurry before the prices go up. This year, the world is facing a wine shortage due to a series of unfortunate weather events that have affected the major wine-producing regions. From frost and rain in Europe to drought and fire in South America and Australia, global wine production is expected to drop to its lowest level since 1961. However, production remained unchanged in France, meaning it has now become the world’s largest producer, overtaking Italy.
But don’t despair just yet. There is still hope for wine lovers, as some countries have managed to increase their output despite the challenges. The U.S., for example, has seen a 12% rise in wine production compared to last year. And even though the overall supply is lower, the demand is also falling, especially in China, which means the market might not be too unbalanced.
Corks Out Wine Bar TTDI
With this in mind, I was all too happy to accept the invitation to try some of the wines and food offered at Corks Out Wine Bar. It is located in the TTDI area of KL, a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood that offers a variety of restaurants and bars to suit different tastes and budgets. Corks Out Wine Bar doubles as a stylish and sophisticated wine bar and wine retailer. The establishment opened in 2016 but was completely renovated over a year ago.
My initial impression was of the upmarket design, similar to that you would expect to find entering a bar in one of the upscale hotels in KLCC. The interior design features a muted and earthy colour palette, charcoals and wood tones, black quartz table tops, and a ceiling panel made from cleverly repurposed wooden wine cases. Floor-to-ceiling glazing runs down one side of the room, giving a view of the extensive wine ‘cellar’ bottles gleaming gently under warm amber spotlights. Adjoining this is a more private space, discretely hidden behind blinds and which can be reserved for private events.
Corks Out features an extensive cellar of wines from vineyards and wineries of old and new world wine producers. Any bottle from this extensive cellar can be enjoyed in the wine bar at retail price, so it is the perfect place to enjoy a special bottle with friends without paying expensive markup or corkage fees.
However, we had been tempted by a rather bold proposition. Emblazoned on the menu and in the advertising of Corks Out was the statement, “We’re going to change the way you drink Wine.” As someone who had previously considered himself pretty proficient in being able to drink wine, this was a challenge I was happy to accept.
In most bars and restaurants, there may be an extensive list of wines available by the bottle, but should you not wish to commit to a whole bottle or want to drink just one or two glasses, you may find your choice restricted to one or perhaps two choices of house wine. In some establishments, these can indeed be good wines. Still, in others, you could be limited to having a very oaky Chardonnay when your preference may be for a Riesling or be offered only a bold and brassy Shiraz when you may have preferred a lighter Pinot Noir.
At Corks Out, their offering is revolutionary. Here, they curate an extensive list of 15 house wines, all available by the glass. Should you wish to do so, you can enjoy five glasses of wine from this list for a very reasonable RM 78 (RM 88 from 8 pm onwards) or ten glasses of wine for those bon viveurs out there for RM 138 (RM 168 from 8 pm onwards). At the time of our visit, there were four whites and 11 red wines to choose from.
Given that it was midweek and late afternoon, Monica and I decided to limit ourselves to sampling fewer glasses on this occasion.
Monica is a fan of wines from Catalonia, and her eyes were drawn immediately to the LaVina Blanco 2020, a Macabeo Garnacha blend (RM 13.8 per glass or RM 67 for a bottle – bargain, right?!). LaVina wines are made by Vallormosa, one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in the Catalonia region in Spain, which has been making wine since 1865. This was a fresh, fruity wine with hints of peach and citrus and a smooth finish. Although it’s a perfect white wine to drink on its own, we were told it also pairs well with seafood, salads and light dishes.
We also selected a glass of red wine from the same winery, La Fauna De Lavina 2021, a Tempranillo-Merlot blend (RM 13.8 for a glass or RM78 for a bottle). This wine was ruby red in colour and was fairly medium-bodied with an aroma of red fruits and vanilla. I found this a very smooth and balanced wine and is an excellent example of a modern and expressive Catalan wine with an excellent quality-price ratio. Although it would pair well with meat dishes and pasta, it was a red wine that would be fine on its own, especially slightly chilled.
Monica asked our waiter, Jefferson, which of the 15 house wines was his personal favourite, and he confided it was the Bruce Jack Pinotage Malbec (RM 16.8 for a glass or RM 93) for a bottle. This is a blended red wine from South Africa with a deep ruby colour and a jammy nose of cherries and juicy berries. Although Monica admitted that Pinotage is not one of her favourite grape varieties, she was pleasantly surprised by this wine, as it was lighter than she expected and without the astringency she sometimes found with such wines.
We also sampled the Church View Silverleaf Merlot (RM 18.8 for a glass, RM 102 for a bottle). This red wine comes from the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Merlot grapes are renowned for their soft, smooth and fruity characteristics, and this was definitely the case here. This wine was easy to drink and would pair well with meat, cheese and pasta dishes.
The final glass we tried from the selection of fifteen house wines was the Balduzzi Merlot (RM 16.8 for a glass, RM 90 for a bottle). This is a red wine from Chile, where the Balduzzi family have been making wines for over a century. It was rather full-bodied and smooth. The wine is made from 100% Merlot grapes, giving it balanced acidity, tannins, and a long finish. Again, this would pair well with meats, most pasta dishes and cheese.
Corks Out TTDI Food Menu
Corks Out has a broader selection of food than you would find in most wine bars. It offers several snacks to go along with a glass of wine or something much more substantial with many main course-sized dishes.
We started with the Cheese Platter (RM 48), which was served on a wooden board with a bowl of sliced pickles, Ritz crackers, and a little mound of dried cranberries. This would be more than enough for two people and easily sufficient for three. There was a tangy Danish blue cheese, a creamy smoked cheese, Edam, Monterey Jack and slices of Camembert in the selection of five cheeses. Our friendly waiter, Jefferson, said that this and the Cold Cuts Platter, which we didn’t sample, were two of the most popular dishes on the menu. It was clear why cheese and wine are such a classic pairing. The cheese quickly disappeared, almost without our noticing.
Our next plate from the kitchen was Pork Gyoza (RM 22). These delightful little dumplings are house-made and are filled with minced pork, garlic, spices and ginger before being pan-fried until their bottoms are golden and crispy. They’re served with a tangy ginger-infused vinegar, perfect for drizzling or dipping. There were six dumplings per serving, which meant two for Monica, our photographer Peter and myself. I will order more on my next visit as they were moreish, and two weren’t enough!
I’d also recommend trying the Iberico Quesadilla (RM 28). These satisfying tortillas are a delicious fusion of Spanish and Mexican cuisine presented on a black slate platter with a dramatic swoop of honey mustard sauce. Iberico ham is made from black pigs fed on acorns and is said to give the meat a rich and nutty flavour. I can’t say I could taste this myself, but the caramelised onions added sweetness and depth while the mozzarella cheese bound everything together. The honey mustard sauce added a spicy and tangy kick.
Corks Out features a trio of salads on their menu, and we plumped for the Autumn Delights salad (RM28). Hearts of Romaine lettuce had been grilled to give them a smoky and charred flavour while retaining their crispness. They were served on a bed of creamy pumpkin mash, which had a smooth and velvety texture and a sweet, almost nutty taste. The salad was drizzled with silky truffle cream, adding a rich and earthy aroma and a decadent and savoury flavour. Finally, pomegranate seeds had been scattered on top, the little pops of acidic freshness a welcome contrast to the richness of the pumpkin and truffle.
Try the Pesto Pasta (RM 28) at Corks Out if you want a vegetarian pasta option. This dish featured spaghetti noodles cooked al dente and generously coated with a creamy pesto sauce made from basil, cashew nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese. The sauce has a vibrant green colour and a nutty aromatic flavour and was garnished with cashew nuts. The portion size was more than satisfying, and the price was very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the ingredients. It is a simple dish but one that leaves you feeling satisfied. The La Fauna De Lavina 2021 paired well with this dish and the following one.
Our final dish was an Iberico Collar (RM 68). Again, it features the tender and juicy meat of the Iberico pig, native to Spain and Portugal. It had been marinated and grilled before being served in a rich, savoury brown sauce that complimented its flavour, accompanied by sides of red cabbage mash and sauteed vegetables.
Corks Out Wine Bar TTDI Review
If you’re looking for a cosy and classy place to sip some tasty, delicious wines, you’ll be delighted by Corks Out. This wine bar offers a wide range of wines from different regions and styles, all at reasonable prices. And the best part is you can enjoy them on-site without paying extra corkage fees.
But Corks Out is not just about wines. It also serves delicious snacks and dishes that complement the wines perfectly. Whether you want a light bite or a hearty meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your palate here.
Corks Out claims to change the way you drink wine, and it might just do that. Once you experience the variety and quality of their wines, you’ll never want to settle for a dull house wine again.
Reasons to visit Corks Out Wine Bar TTDI: I’ll be back for those delicious little Pork Gyoza dumplings, and next time, I’m not sharing! As for the La Fauna De Lavina Tempranillo-Merlot 2021, I liked it so much that I bought a whole case to take home.
Corks Out Wine Bar
60, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur 60000, Malaysia
+60 12 468 7133
Corks Out Wine Bar TTDI Opening Hours
Daily 3.30 p.m. – 12 a.m.