Around Town

Corkbuzz, the chic New York City wine studio in SouthPark, has its grand opening today

Corkbuzz Charlotte launched last month with a soft opening at SouthPark’s Sharon Square.

The NYC-based wine studio immediately elevated the wine scene in town with its in-depth knowledge of wines, food pairings and eclectic by-the-glass selections.

And its official grand opening is today.

The concept

Guests explore wines from various regions around the globe, choosing from more than 40 wines by the glass and more than 200 by the bottle. They also offer special classes, relaxed tastings and ever present sommeliers whose sole purpose it seems is to help you find the perfect wine.

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“My style is, let’s get you something you want, but also make it fun,” said Laura Maniec, co-founder and the face of Corkbuzz. “We always pour tableside and engage our guests, offering a taste before buying. Tell us what you’re willing to try and experiment with, what your flavor profile preferences are. If you like California Chardonnay and ask what I’m excited about, I want to find a bottle from our list that over delivers. “

The scene

Guests find a clubby, comfy and casually chic environs at Corkbuzz. The huge bar is attended to with generous chairs that encourage lingering. The feel is open, airy and punctuated with handsome tables and cushion filled banquets lending a soft feel and providing for unstrained conversation.

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The private dining room has an oversized table seating 18 where they’ll soon host Sunday dinners.

“We have a large format feast every Sunday night year round,” said Maniec. “In the summer it’s a clambake. We have everything from lobster and corn on the cob, peel and eat shrimp to tomato salad and four bottles of wine (for 6).

“People pre-book it, come in with their friends and it is one price for everything including wine and gratuity. These are inspired by suppers at my grandma’s house.”

The pairings

“When it came to building the menu for Corkbuzz Charlotte, Culinary Director, AJ Schaller, and I decided to take a different approach,” said Maniec. “Rather than matching wine to the food, I gave Chef descriptions of major styles of wine, and she crafted dishes specifically for them.”

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Here are a few favorites:

(1) Von Buhl Riesling Sekt ’12 – Pfalz, Germany

– Sparkling wine with toasted notes, apricot, white peach marmalade and a racy, crisp finish.

Paired with:

– Chicken Liver Mousse with Warm Biscuits and Fruit Chutney. The bubbles in the wine cut through the richness in the chicken liver mousse, and the toasty flavors mirror the warm biscuits.

(2) Skouras Moschofilero ’13 – Peloponnese, Greece

– Ripe lemon, cheese rind, slightly aromatic, dried herbs, creamy finish.

Paired with:

– Heirloom Tomato Salad with Local Burrata. The inspiration here was what grows together goes together. It’s a riff on a Greek salad with Greek wine.

(3) Lis Neris Picol Sauvignon ’11 – Friuli, Italy

– Fresh, white grapefruit, basil, lime, herbaceous finish.

Paired with:

– Citrus Cured Salmon with Avocado, Lemongrass and Watermelon Radish. This dish and wine are all about freshness. Herbaceous and citrus flavors of wine cut through the richness of avocado.

Details: charlotte.corkbuzz.com; Twitter @CorkbuzzCLT.

Photos: Courtesy of Corkbuzz


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Michael Solender michaeljwrites.com @mjsolender
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