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Early Look: NYC’s Corkbuzz Wine Studio

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© Charlotte Druckman
Wine Label Haute Couture at Corkbuzz

There are so many things to admire when you walk into Corkbuzz, the fantastic new Manhattan wine bar/school from the world’s youngest female master sommelier, Laura Maniec. But the very first thing I saw was a haute couture dress, fashioned from some 700 prestigious wine labels that Maniec collected from her fancy wine friends by posting a request on Facebook. (Apparently, there are hundreds more labels waiting to be used; maybe Maniec will expand the Corkbuzz mission statement to include a bespoke tailor shop.)
 
Right now, tailoring is almost the only thing that Corkbuzz, which opens in the next few days, doesn’t offer. The place is designed so that the wine-class space in the back morphs into a comfy dining room situation with communal tables. And the food there, or at the long bar, from chef Hayn Yi (who has cooked at Le Bernardin, among other places), is lovely. I was very happy with the colorful market pickles and well-spiced lamb ragout with flatbreads; the chocolate soufflé with salted caramel was killer.
 
Now for the wine: There are some three dozen wines by the glass, from 2010 Greek Sauvignon Blanc to ’89 Margaux, plus Lustau sherry. Maniec is also going to offer fun programs like “cellar grab” from the 250-bottle list (pay a certain amount of money, walk into the cellar and grab). The wine classes, which start in early January, run the gamut from vegetarian pairing to learning how to be a show-offy blind taster.
 
So yeah, things are pretty busy at Corkbuzz. But I’m still hoping Maniec can get her dress designer, Jo D’Agostino, to custom make a few outfits for me.

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