Like all truly successful entrepreneurs, Chrishon Lampley is a pragmatic visionary. The Chicago-based négociant has sold more than 50,000 wines since debuting her label, Love Cork Screw, in 2013. “Growth has been unbelievable,” she told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year. “I have outsold the vineyards I work with to produce my wine.”
Lampley believes in giving people what they want, no apologies needed. “Wine is situational,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be intimidating all of the time.”
The Love Cork Screw line features five wines with bright, modern packaging and memorable names like “We’re Movin’ On Up” (Cabernet Sauvignon) and “Head Over Heels” (Riesling). Many feature Vitis librusca grapes grown in the Midwest.
Love Cork Screw wines are now available in over 50 locations, including Whole Foods, Target, Mariano’s, and several others. We caught up with Lampley to ask a few very specific questions, including the wine she would pick“for life,” and the absolute best garnishes for a dirty Martini.
1. What’s the bottle that made you fall in love with wine?
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis.
2. FMK three varieties: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay?
F Pinot. Cabernet for life. Kill Chardonnay (to get rid of Moscato).
3. You’re on death row. What’s your last-supper wine?
We’re Movin’ On Up Cabernet Sauvignon. (Not a shameless plug, but it’s mine.)
4. You can only drink one wine for the rest of your life. What is it?
Sauvignon Blanc, because it’s easy and tasty.
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
Bavette’s in Chicago.
6. What’s the best and worst wine on your rack (or in your fridge) right now?
The best for me is definitely Chimney Rock’s Cabernet. The worst wine for my palate is a sweet blend. I like my wine dry.
7. If you could no longer drink wine, what would be your beverage of choice?
Definitely a dirty Martini — with three blue cheese olives.