My name is Cory Warfield, and I have become known locally in Chicago as "the wine guy" when I moved back here from Telluride, CO via Houston, TX nearly a decade ago, after studying wine under several Master Sommeliers and helping design wine lists and programs as a reastaurant manager for several larger concepts.
When I first moved back, I was working at several bars on Division as a doorman, barback, and DJ, and after several months of diligent job searching, I was hired as a server at the Melting Pot in the downtown neighborhood of River North. I became the sommelier there for a time, and conducted bi-weekly wine tastings for the guests, as well as staff education. I was fortunate to meet some renown wine-makers and supersatars within the wine world while working there.
I left the concept after several seasons, as I accepted a serving position down the street at Ruth's Chris Steak House - a restaurant that, back then, I had a great deal of admiration and respect for. I was there for many years, and was unofficially the sommolier there as well. I left Ruth's Chris in 2009, a bittersweet ending, and very briefly I worked at the Chicago Chop House. I will probably write and post about all the aforementioned restaurants, but the Chop House is the one that I certainly feel the most need to elaborate on. It is run by liars and crooks, they nickle and dime their guests, and the product they pass off is deplorable. It is my understanding that this used to be an institution, but unfortunately new ownership has run it well into the ground.
If you will forgive my negative rant, we are brought to the present, which finds me running a wine web-site I started and have authored, called The Swirler (.com), and as a waiter at the new, posh, and impressively busy Mastro's Steak House (ironically one block from all the aforementioned restaurants, and geographically central to all), where I am very forunate to be serving first growth Burgundy Pinot Noir by the glass, and Quintessa to A-List movie celebredom on a regular basis. I conduct several charity wine tasting each year, and am often seen at local wine tastings, expanding my palate and knowledge base, and meeting and talking to other wine consumers such as myself. I have an oppulant taste, but am always looking for the best values at every price point and am most often quite disapointed by pricier wines - I truly believe that they have to merit and justify the price charged.
In this spirit, I will be sharing annecdotes, reviews of wine as well as wine merchants and reviewers, insider information in regards to upcoming releases and vintages, retailers and tastings, and all things wine. Please feel free to contact me with any topics or questions you would like adressed. I appreciate you taking the time to share some thoughts with me - Cheers!