Biddeford wine bar Uncorked, which opened in February 2017, belongs to Alex Markakis and Jim Albert, owner of Jimmy the Greek’s restaurant in Old Orchard Beach. Markakis and Albert also own the martini bar next door and burger joint Cowbell across the street. The three establishments even share a single phone line, which doesn’t work so well in practice. When I called to ask whether Uncorked was open on a Sunday holiday, the person who answered the phone didn’t know and was unable to find out by asking her colleagues. I later learned that it’s not open on Sundays and never has been.
I forgave the place a bit when I walked through the door and saw the cute décor, beginning with the wine-themed display window. The bar counter is a beautiful mosaic tile design, but there aren’t any hooks under the bar, and almost every high-top table had scruffy-looking cardboard pieces stuffed underneath to stabilize them.
Despite having a large selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle, none are offered in smaller portions, like they are at many wine bars. No half-glasses or tasting portions. There are, however, five flight options featuring three 2-ounce pours. My friend and I ordered the $12 French flight, which arrived in one of the most unusual serving displays I’ve ever seen, an elaborate metal tree-like stand with glass holders coming off it like branches. Unfortunately, the flight didn’t come with water, which would have been helpful as we moved from one glass to another. Flights are an additional $2 off on Thursdays; Wednesday is Ladies Night, meaning $5 off for females.
The 15 reds sold by the glass range from $8 to $12 and come from Argentina, Australia, California, Italy, Maine, Oregon and South Africa. Not a single French red was on the list, so no Burgundy or Bordeaux – unusual for a wine bar. The 16 whites sold by the glass range from $8 to $14 and come from Austria, California, France, Germany, Italy, Maine and New Zealand. There’s also a small selection of Greek wines, two sparkling wines and two ports. Nothing from Chile or Spain in any of the sections, so French reds are not the only glaring omission.
Uncorked also has a limited food menu, selling cheese, charcuterie and desserts (including a flight of three mini cheesecakes for $4.99). There’s even a small selection of beers ranging from $5 to $7.50. At the time of my early October visit, construction was underway for a space connecting Uncorked to the nearby martini bar, part of a plan to serve tacos in the new space.
The bartender was friendly but didn’t seem to have an extensive wine background and had to defer some questions to the manager. When I go to a wine bar, I expect someone who can talk wine in detail, not just say things like “and here’s a sparkling one.” Don’t get me wrong, I love being handed “a sparkling one” – it’s just that, if I’m at wine bar where I’m ordering a flight to try a variety of wines, I anticipate a more sparkling description.
WHERE: 137 Main St., Biddeford
PHONE: (207) 284-2355 (line is shared with two other establishments)
WEBSITE: On Facebook: Uncorked Wine Bar
HOURS: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
AMENITIES: Cheese and charcuterie options and wine flights
BOTTOM LINE: Good place to go in Biddeford if you already know exactly which type of wine you enjoy.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes