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Mod Weekender comes to Corto – flamenco vibes, let’s go

IT’S BACK.

The Ribble Valley Mod Weekender is taking over Clitheroe this weekend after a year away and we’re super jazzed to be involved this time.

All weekend from Friday to Sunday we’ll be doing things a little differently:

No Reservations

This weekend we will not be taking bookings for tables or seats. It’s walk-ups only, friends! This includes Friday night when we’ll have some amazing live music (more on that in a bit.)

Can Bar

We’ll be expecting a lot more guests this weekend (hurray!) so we’ll have a second bar to take care of your rapid tinnies.

Biodegradeable Plastic Cups

Mod Weekender is a busy time and while we’d love to serve you all in proper glassware, we just don’t have that much of it. This weekend we’ll be serving beer, wine and cider in biodegradeable plastic cups for your safety and our speed.

Take-Out

Special event rules this weekend mean you’ll be welcome to take your drinks and snacks out of the bar to enjoy in the town centre. That’s right — take-out snacks, this weekend only!

Tom Metcalfe – Live Music

This Friday 24th September, Tom Metcalfe will be performing at Corto from 8.30pm as part of the Ribble Valley Mod Weekender.

We can’t wait to have his amazing flamenco guitar playing in our bar! We know what you’re thinking – what’s flamenco got to do with Mods? Well, we like it and we reckon Paul Weller would to, so we’re ‘avin it.

Get down early to avoid missing out — entry is free and it’ll be mostly standing room only with chairs for those of you who might need ‘em. Parka jackets and Lambrettas optional.

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Get your tickets to the Corto Natural Cider Tasting

That’s right! We’re hosting a cider tasting at Corto on Thursday 9th September from 7pm and you’re invited.

Natural cider is one of our favourite things. It’s made from apples grown on orchards free from pesticides by folks who are so passionate about cidermaking that they’re even doing their own apple and pear conservation work.

Did you know? Apple and pear orchards are being pulled up at a scary rate in Britain. According to Henry Johnson in The Traditional British Orchard: A Precious and Fragile Resource: “For the past 50 years the acreage of traditional orchards has been steadily decreasing, with an estimated loss in area of 60 per cent nationally since 1950, and with some counties, such as Devon, seeing losses of up to 90 per cent.”

That’s why it’s super important to support cider and perry makers who take good care of their orchards. They are precious natural resources for wildlife, biodiverse areas of our ancient countryside, and besides their importance within our landscape, they’re just excellent, beautiful places. And they are where cider comes from, which is also excellent.

Corto Cider Tasting — Thursday 9th September

At the first Corto cider tasting, you’ll taste four different natural ciders by four different producers. The aim will be to figure out the differences between different cider styles — but more importantly, it’s to help you fall in love with cider!

A few snacks will be provided to help you on your merry tasting way.

  • Learn about some of the top cidermakers in Britain
  • Find out what natural cider is and how it’s made
  • Discover the differences between cider styles
  • Learn about different cider apples and what their unique flavours lend to the ciders they make
  • Have a lovely time tasting cider

Join us on Thursday 9th September from 7pm!
Tickets are £25 and you can get yours here.

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Snacks! Eat delicious food at Corto – it’s not all about the booze

Peckishness isn’t allowed at Corto. We’ve got a delicious menu of tasty snacks that changes with the seasons and pairs super well with our extensive range of drinks.

Not sure what you fancy? Just ask! We love to recommend the tastiest pairings, and we’re all about taking time to chill. Don’t rush those snacks. Take your time. Grab a drink. Enjoy your afternoon.

Our Current Snack Menu

Breads and Butters – £3

Gorgeous bubbly sourdough with salted and miso dairy butters.

Bread with Oil + Balsamic (vg) – £3

Dip that sourdough and dig in.

Focaccia (vg) – £3

Sourdough focaccia, squishy with olive oil, salt, rosemary and olives.

Olives (vg) – £3

A bowl of herby olives.

Pan con Tomate – £6

With fresh purple garlic. (vg)

  • + Add 00 (the best) anchovies                               +£2

Grilled Cheese – £8

Tom’s magnum opus. Old Winchester 18+ month aged & Ogleshield West Country raclette on sourdough.

Dairy Cheese Plate – £10

Winslade – soft, delicate cow’s cheese wrapped in spruce bark. (v)

Killeen – goat’s gouda from Galway

Beenleigh Blue – sheep’s blue based on Roquefort. (v)

Summer Field – alpine-style cow’s milk Gruyère from Whitby (v)(un)

Vegan Cheese Plates

We aim to have a great selection of vegan and plant-based options on our menu. At the moment we are in-between vegan cheese suppliers, but we’re planning to have vegan cheese back on the menu very soon! Keep looking out on our Insta and in our newsletter for more info.

We don’t just want to provide a vegan option. We want it to be as delicious and perfect as our non-vegan option. This is why it’s taken a little while to find vegan cheeses we really love. We think we’ve done it!

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Corto’s First Natural Wine Tasting Event!

We’re hosting our first natural wine tasting event!

On Thursday 12 August 2021 from 7pm until around 9.30pm (no rush), Katie will take you through five of our latest bottles from around Europe that have sparked our imagination and made us close our eyes and go “woah”.

You’ll learn about the winemakers behind the wines and find out why they do what they do in the way that they do it. Of course, you’ll get to taste the five wines and learn about why they taste the way that they do. And there’ll be paired snacks too! (Vegan options available)

If you’ve never been to a wine tasting before and don’t know what to expect, here are some tips:

  • Sniff the wine
  • Sip the wine
  • Chat about the wine
  • Have a blast

This is the first of, we hope, many wine tasting events at Corto where we can make wine less intimidating and more fun. We might even play some games.

Get your tickets to our FIRST EVER WINE TASTING EVENT here via Eventbrite: https://corto_firstwinetasting.eventbrite.co.uk 

A bit more on Natural Wine

Natural wine is one of our favourite things.

It’s wine that’s been made with as little intervention as the winemaker sees fit — at the very least it’ll be grown without pesticides, although often you won’t find organic hallmarks on the bottles we sell. It’s an expensive cost winemakers prefer to avoid, using organic practices because they prefer to, not to tick a box.

As much as we love the eco aspects of natural wine, there’s another side to it that’s just as compelling. 

The wild way these wines express themselves is something, we believe, is hard to recreate using conventional methods. The experimentation, innovation and creativity of natural winemakers is something, we think, is worth celebrating. They are using ancient methods to care for their vines and make their wines, in a modern setting where low intervention techniques and a mind towards the environment has never been more important.

So that’s why we love natural wine. We hope after you taste some of our latest bottles, you will too!

Buy your ticket to our first ever wine tasting here

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Soft, Low and No – Non-Alcoholic Drinks to get Excited About

Not everybody wants to drink alcohol. Not everybody can. Sometimes you just want a delicious beverage without the booze. Nobody should judge!

We’ve put together a list of soft, low alcohol and no alcohol drinks for Corto that quench thirsts and tickle tastebuds so efficiently you’ll never even notice the negligible ABV.

Continue reading Soft, Low and No – Non-Alcoholic Drinks to get Excited About
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Natural Wine — What is it? And why do we love it so much?

If you’ve ever popped into our little temporary bottle shop (two weeks until it turn into a bar!) or you had a look on our webshop when it was online during the Delivery Days, you’ll have noticed our natural wine selection.

Spanning France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, we’ve had natural wines from all over the world on our shelves, from regions that you might never have heard of or drank wine from before. We love that. Finding unusual and amazing wine unexpectedly is a total joy and we will NEVER get bored of it.

But what exactly is natural wine? And why do we love it? Let’s have a bit of a chat about it.

Natural Wine is made with “low intervention”

When we say “low intervention” or even “low intervention wine”, what we mean is wine that’s been made with as little extra fuss and faff as possible.

Natural wine isn’t an official term (although some certifications are available… we’ll maybe talk about that another time) and it’s mainly used as a way to single out wines made a certain way.

Natural wine is essentially the way wine used to be made in the olden days: grow some grapes, squish them, let the juice ferment with it’s own natural yeasts, maybe filter it, store it, bottle it (maybe with a dash of sulphur, maybe not), drink it.

Some winemakers like to go a bit further and use Biodynamic processes to make their wine in connection to the land and things like the moon’s phases. We’ll write about that another time!

What’s “conventional wine”?

Wine you might find in the supermarket can still taste great, but it’s normally what you call “conventional” wine, meaning that it’s not made in a low intervention way. In fact, it can be made with a whole ton of intervention, from using reconstituted concentrated juice, to having additives added in to improve flavour, colour and texture. And that’s not even mentioning additional sugar, preservatives, co2 or the unnatural pesticides and fertilizers used on the grapes as they grow.

We aren’t against conventional wine. In fact we sell some, sometimes. We choose our wine based on how it tastes and how much we can appreciate the care and attention to detail the winemaker has given their wines from vineyard to table. 

What we often say is that we choose mostly natural wine because this way of making wine can prove that the winemaker has thought about every aspect of the winemaking process, and is making the best possible wine from the raw materials at hand — and that’s what really excites us about wine anyway.

Natural wine at Corto

When Corto opens as a bar on Friday 4th June 2021, we’ll be serving natural wine alongside a huge range of natural cider and craft beer. To us, each of these tasty things is just as important as each other.

Natural wine can be a little more expensive compared to mass-produced wine, and so we’ll be selling a range of different wines by the glass (BTG) every week to give you the chance to try them. Making delicious things accessible is something we’re really keen on at Corto and often a whole bottle of something unfamiliar can seem offputting. 

Come in for a glass and see what you think — wine shots will be available too if you can’t make your mind up!

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Corto (the bar) is opening on Friday 4th June!!

We have a date! We’ve set it! The day is nearly here!

Corto will open on Friday 4th June 2021.

Book your table!

Email us to book your table at hello@cortobar.co.uk

Opening Hours from June 4th

Friday 4th June: 12pm – 11pm

Saturday 5th June: 12pm – 11pm

Sunday 6th June: 12pm – 10pm

Thursday 10th June: 12pm – 10pm

Friday 11th June: 12pm – 11pm

Saturday 12th June: 12pm – 11pm

Sunday 13th June: 12pm – 10pm

*We can seat tables of up to 6 people due to current Covid guidelines*

More fun details to come!

We’ve got a ton of ace announcements to make between now and our Grand Opening Weekend (unofficial title) so keep your scrolling to a minimum and look out for more news on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Also, if you’ve not signed up to our newsletter yet, make sure you get involved! That’s where all our most exciting news gets broken first.

Sign up here.

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We’re shutting down the Corto webshop — and we’d love to tell you why

From the start, Corto was meant to be a place to chill. Somewhere deliciously relaxed and vibey, where we could pour drinks and serve snacks, run tasting events and generally have a great time.

A webshop is none of that.

Webshops done well are great sources of excellent products, run by people who have the time and expertise to upload fresh drops on the daily, keep everyone up-to-date, and maybe even have the warehousing space to buy in large numbers to pass savings on to customers. They almost certainly have the resources to ship their products cross-country (something we never really figured out how to do inexpensively and quickly — sorry Clitheroe post office).

The Corto webshop was a means to an end — a way to keep connected to you while we were ford to close over the third lockdown at Christmas. It was a quickly-built site that did the job well (and we were super proud to have been able to do it all by our clever little selves) but it was never our intention to keep it going. It was a temporary fix, and that word “temporary” is important to us.

It meant that closures and lockdowns wouldn’t last forever. It means that someday, and that day is getting closer, we won’t be a shop at all. 

Corto (the Shop) as it currently is

Now that we’ve been able to open our little shopfront for a couple of weeks and been able to talk to you about whether you like using click and collect, we’ve made the decision to close our webshop for good. It turns out you don’t like click and collect. You prefer coming in for a chat. This is great! So do we prefer that!!

Katie especially hated updating the webshop because it reminded her of all the digital marketing jobs she used to do. All that metadata. No thank you.

Owning your own business is a responsibility, but it also means that every now and again you have the absolute authority to not do things you hate.

So GOODBYE, CORTO WEBSHOP! It’s been real. But we’re ready for the next thing now.

COME VISIT US AT 36 KING STREET, CLITHEROE IN PERSON!!

Your Reviews

We want to take a sec here to say thank you so much for all your amazing reviews. They were pretty much the only part of the webshop we loved. 

We’ve kept them for posterity, they meant that much to us.

If you’d like to keep leaving reviews for us, please remember that there is always Google and Facebook! But also, message us. DM us. We always want to know what you thought of that thing you bought — especially if you loved it.

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Corto May Bank Holiday Opening Times — come and visit!

This bank holiday we’re open on Friday and Saturday for take-out beer, wine and cider. So come and visit us for some delicious bevs and a bit of a chat!

May Bank Holiday Opening Times

Friday 30 April – 11am — 7pm

Saturday 1 May – 11am — 2pm

Sunday 2 May – CLOSED

Bank Holiday Monday – CLOSED

We are closing early on Saturday 1 May and closed on Sunday 2 May and Bank Holiday Monday because we’re going camping. No excuses here! The building work is going great, we’re on schedule (more on that next week!) and we’re excited to get decorating. We’ve decided that before we open the bar we need a proper break. We haven’t stopped for months, especially Katie, who alongside Corto works as a writer and an editor.

Camping is gonna be boss. We’ll send you some pics.

New In Stock

While we’re here, have a look at some of the freshies we’ve got in stock!

Belching Beaver x Deftones – Phantom Bride

Deftones-branded beer. A gimmick? Yeah, but so what. It’s DEFTONES-BRANDED BEER.

A lip-smacking west coast IPA clear, crisp and precise like Abe’s drumming and bitter-as-you-like. Swiftly drinkable and totally delicious.

Yeastie Boys and North End Brewery

We’re big fans of Yeastie Boys. Does that surprise you?

They may have a core range in supermarkets but their beers are always on point. Also, their ethos is banging — they are good people, making good beer, working hard to do good things.

We were invited to a tasting they ran alongside fellow New Zealand brewery North End a couple of months back and we just loved their story and the brilliant mixed ferm beers they’d created.

So, of course, we nabbed a few for our shelves.

Yeastie Boys x North End — West Moon

An old ale made with the old British brewing technique of boiling the grist for a long period of time to leech all that flavourful malty strength from it and bring it to a deep colour. When we say this beer was boiled for a long time, we mean looooong. They stayed up all night, watching the wort turn from straw-pale to deep copper as it caramelised in the kettle. 

Then, the wort was inoculated with a strain of wild yeast cultured with love and care (honestly, head brewer Kieran Haslatt-Moore couldn’t have been more excited about this when he was chatting about making the beer) from a 1977 bottle of Bass Jubilee Ale.

West Moon was put to bed in 500L oak puncheons to referment with the wild yeast for 6 months.

What’s happened in that time is magical. A beautifully tangy, deeply earthy and leathery beer reaches your tastebuds and chucks fun little flavours in every direction. Fruit! Toffee! Toast! 

But it gets better with age. That’s the idea. Kieran told us that West Moon was brewed to be laid down in cellar and aged, and to be brought out and enjoyed on a special occasion — just as old ales were in the past. Old ales were a present on a birthday, a gift to mark the birth of a baby or given to celebrate a promotion, and then enjoyed years later on the baby’s 18th birthday, or years later whenever drinking delicious beer with loved ones was the order of the day.

On the label is a painting of a photo of Kieran as a baby with his dad, a special image for him and an homage to his deep belief that beer should be enjoyed with the people you love.

We’ve got a bottle for ourselves stashed away for a special occasion way in the future. One we’ve not even decided on yet. But also, drinking together with people you love is a special occasion in itself — which is why we’ve already had one. Drink the beer. You only live once.

North End Brewing — Saison de Terroir

Another beauty from North End, we were absolutely thrilled to be able to grab a case of this deliciously delicate farmhouse sour beer.

They say: “We have helped add a big dose of ‘terroir’ into this beer by taking our Saison and re-fermenting it in barrels with a blend of wild yeasts from Waikanae. The result is tangy, lightly tart and extremely fruity.”

On top of these we’ve got a load of super special bottles stashed away for our opening weekend (which we’ll announce the dates of in NEXT WEEK’S NEWSLETTER. Subscribe now if you don’t already so you don’t miss out.) 

Did somebody say… Rose de Gambrinus?