Business

Uncorked—Snoqualmie's first wine bar—offers relaxed wine experience

Sommelier Allison McCormick, owners Brad and Jen Oberlander and Chef George Pardington welcome guests with a relaxed, fun atmosphere at Uncorked wine bar, newly opened on Snoqualmie Ridge. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Sommelier Allison McCormick, owners Brad and Jen Oberlander and Chef George Pardington welcome guests with a relaxed, fun atmosphere at Uncorked wine bar, newly opened on Snoqualmie Ridge.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Brad and Jennifer Oberlander launched their dreams Aug. 25 when they opened Uncorked Wine Bar, Snoqualmie’s first wine bar.

It’s a business venture the 40-something couple weren’t originally seeking; they already owned Gateway Gas and Deli, located on the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and Douglas Avenue. With Brad’s 25 years’ experience in the oil industry, they were searching for a “couple other gas station opportunities,” Jennifer Oberlander said.

Those plans changed in April after both enjoyed savoring wine together and realized the closest wine bar was in Issaquah.

“There are many wonderful places to eat around here, but we like to go out for a nice glass of wine and appetizers, rather than a big meal,” she said. “We found there weren’t many options around.”

The more they thought about it, the more appealing the idea of opening a local wine bar sounded.

“We were surprised at actually how many people felt the same way,” she said. “I was also amazed at how many wine drinkers there are around here.”

Like a good wine whose time had come, the Oberlanders opened their bar. They’ve kept the focus on creating a welcoming ambiance for their patrons while leaving room to explore the world of wines.

“We are both huge Cabernet lovers,” Jennifer explained. “That’s all we drank until we were exposed to so many different kinds of other wine.”

They hired sommelier Allison McCormick, with three years’ formal training in wine and spirits and a Diploma Level-4 candidate with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. With her knowledge of wine history, geography and wine-tasting experience, McCormick is a natural for discovering which wine suits each customer.

“Allison will say, ‘tell me what you like’ and it’s just amazing how she matches it up to the description they want,” Jennifer said.

Patrons also have the benefit of ordering three- and six-ounce pours rather than ordering an entire bottle, she said. Favorites so far include Sanguinetti, a super Tuscan wine, and El Jefe, a Hefeweizen weak ale, McCormick explained.

In its few weeks of business, Uncorked Wine Bar has already found a loyal following, with women making up the biggest percentage of customers.

“It’s mostly ladies, without a doubt — lots of women just getting together and wanting a quieter place to chat,” she said. “It has a calm feeling in here. There are lots of people coming in on dates and groups of friends who come here to chat because it’s quiet. And our food is absolutely excellent. It’s a small place and affordable; they have an appetizer and wine.”

With the bar’s soft olive tones, dark wood and custom-made, multi-colored bar created with recycled wine glasses, Oberlander said she believes customers will not only feel welcome but very much at home.

“Watching the groups of ladies laugh, the couples holding hands on date nights or the birthday parties — it’s fun,” she said. “It feels wonderful to provide an atmosphere where people want to come and have a great time. It’s a very fun, relaxed environment.”

Uncorked Wine Bar is open from 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located at 7819 Center Boulelvard, Snoqualmie and can be reached at 425-888- 9463. Or, visit www. uncorked-wine.com.

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