About Us

Cork ‘n Bottle was founded on East Johnson street on Madison, Wisconsin’s beautiful Near East side in the Spring of 1960, and since then we’ve been offering an interesting, well-curated selection of some of the coolest wine, beer & spirits from around the world.  If it’s weird or obscure, we’re probably kinda into it.

We aren’t the largest store in town (or on the internet) but we are passionate about the things we carry, and we are more than psyched to help you plan your event, find the perfect wine pairing, or tell you about this crazy new amaro we got in. We might be small, but we’re scrappy, and we value long-term relationships with our customers. If we don’t carry it, ask. We might not have a ton of space around the shop, but we’re always happy to hunt down bottles-- we love special orders!

Our Team:

Bob Hemauer has been in the beverage industry for more than 15 years, as a bartender, manager and sommelier/wine buyer. In addition to the Cork ‘n Bottle, he currently writes the wine lists for the James Beard nominated Underground Food Collective (Forequarter Restaurant, Underground Butcher, Underground Catering) as well as the Tornado Steakhouse. He also serves as the wine director for the Fete de Marquette, and helps organize Makeshift festival-- a yearly celebration of culinary & visual artistry. If you’re into the whole podcast thing, you can check him out every month on the Capital Times’ Corner Table where he rambles in a semi-coherent way about wine every month.

He is solely responsible for any typos you see on this site, and would like to sincerely apologize.  

Jim Wright started working at the Cork ‘n Bottle on his 18th birthday, and has seen every trend ever since. He’s got almost 40 years experience in the business, so if you’ve heard of it, he’s most likely seen it & tasted it. In addition to his enthusiasm for Piedmontese wine, he was a founding member of the Cork ‘n Bottle String Band, and he can quote a ton of old movies. (Like a ton.)