Sommelier Laura Maniec of Corkbuzz - Biography

New York, NY

July 2011

Laura Maniec is a natural. At only 21—just legally able to drink—she became a sommelier at 400-seat New York City restaurant Blue Fin, and she’s now one of only 18 female Master Sommeliers in the world.

Maniec first discovered her passion for wine during an 18-week sommelier certification class at Windows on the World, the legendary and much missed restaurant atop the World Trade Center that was, among other things, renowned for its wine service. At Blue Fin, Maniec further expanded her knowledge and experience under the guidance of Master Sommelier Greg Harrington.

It wasn’t long before Maniec oversaw projects of her own. B.R. Guest Restaurant Group sent her across the country to open their new hotels. And at just 25, Maniec became a partner and wine and spirits director for the entire restaurant group, overseeing lists for 20 restaurants. When Maniec eventually left the group, it wasn’t because her passion had run out. She wanted to develop her own wine bar concept and bring her own expertise to bear as a guide, teacher, and writer.

To that end, Maniec is a regular contributor to industry publications, including Food & Wine and The New York Times (for whom Maniec frequently serves on the tasting panel), and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers. And though her wine restaurant Corkbuzz Wine Studio serves as her home base (from which Maniec consults, and also manages 35 by the glass options at the wine bar), Maniec is most passionate about education and outreach. “Everyone can learn about wine,” she says. Especially with Maniec as a teacher.