Corkbuzz Kicked My Butt and I Liked It

Well, they didn’t literally abuse me. They certainly did tell me that I’ve got a hell of a lot to learn about blind tasting wines when I bounced cheerfully into the dimly lit and uber cool wine bar last Tuesday, tasting partner in tow.

I’d been meaning to check out this much-raved-about wine studio for awhile, especially since they offer a huge range of wine classes geared for anyone–from beginning wine drinkers to soil composition-obsessed oenophiles.

And of course, their wine list is huge.  I was pleasantly surprised by the wide selection they have by the glass (52 by my count), which was refreshing as someone who often heads out for a single glass.

The dimly lit, lush alcove doesn’t have happy hour specials, but when I stopped in the plaid-covered bartender was offering blind tasting flights, which included three mid-size pours for $15. Since I had my trusty token-British team mate in tow, we ordered a red and white flight and prepared to tackle the Court of Master Sommeliers Worksheet that came with it.

This is where the intense butt-kicking began.  To begin with, I had no idea what “rim variation” was, not to mention how to tell if it was “browning.” (And that was just the first square on the rubric.)







Through six yummy wines, ranging from Austrian Gruner Veltliner to Oregon Pinot Noir and everywhere in between we really learned a lot. The service was awesome, and our unpretentious sommelier taught us some great tips for blind-tasting, as well as fun facts about all the wines we tasted. In the end, it was his delivery of the truth about the wines that made the experience great.

Of the six wines we tasted, my only victory was on California Chardonnay–which I learned was the “easy” wine in the mix. (Insert grumbling here). I also realized ‘tropical fruit’ and ‘honey’ are my go-to aroma words, and that I should probably go lick gravel so I can learn what ‘minerality’ actually tastes like. It was a worldwind hour to say the least.

Our bartender came right out and told me how wrong I was in my grape-guessing. But like everything else at Corkbuzz, it was done with taste and flair.  And I can’t wait for Round Two.

Corkbuzz Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Sharing a first name with Corkbuzz’s cute owner,  Laura Maniec. (Coincidence? I think not.)

The food menu–my mouth waters at the sight of it, and my wallet can handle it too.

Wine bars that encourage drinking and learning! (Can’t wait for my Tour of France Class on the 25th!)

Fun Facts: The owner is one of 18 female Master Sommeliers in the world.

Syrah is one of only two grapes in the world with a distinctly purple color.

Don’t Believe Me? : Ask these guys, and these guys, and these guys.

  • August 17, 2012
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