DuJour Navigation

Southern Hospitality

Corkbuzz owner and Master Sommelier Laura Maniec shares her favorite restaurant wine lists

Laura Maniec

Laura Maniec

When it came time for Corkbuzz to expand out of New York City, owner and Master Sommelier Laura Maniec knew exactly where to look for her third location: Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’ve always been drawn to Southern culture, constantly making trips to Louisiana, Georgia and the Carolinas,” says Maniec. “So when it came time to decide where we’d root our third location, Charlotte was a no-brainer. My family lives in Charlotte and the charm that the South exudes makes eating out a unique experience.”

After years of traveling, touring and tasting, Maniec has compiled a list of her favorite restaurant wine lists in the region—because Southern comfort takes on new meaning when it involves a crisp, refreshing vino. 

Inside Corkbuzz Charlotte

Inside Corkbuzz Charlotte

Corkbuzz Charlotte
4905 Ashley Park Lane, Charlotte, North Carolina

“Corkbuzz Charlotte is guided by a simple philosophy: wine is meant to be enjoyed. Our concept is inspired by rich memories of family gatherings filled with laughter and storytelling (and wine, of course). The Corkbuzz staff is generous with its knowledge and welcomes every chance to deepen someone’s appreciation for wine. Our wine classes are unique and engaging, ranging from Wine 101 to food and wine pairings and more in-depth offerings. Our food is built for guests to experience the magic of a perfect pairing. We offer the wine enthusiast and the adventurous novice a chance to experience one of life’s great, intangible treasures: discovery.” 

Barrington’s Restaurant
7822 Fairview Road, Charlotte, North Carolina

“I love this because it’s the first of Bruce Moffett’s restaurants in Charlotte; he also owns Good Food on Montford and Stagioni. Try the Rope-Grown Mussels with crushed tomatoes, white wine and garlic with Luli Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia, a winery owned by fellow Master Sommelier Sara Floyd.”

Miller Union
999 Brady Avenue NW, Atlanta, Georgia

“I love the simple, farmstead-inspired cooking with a Southern twist, and the wine list is one of the most interesting in Atlanta—known for its commitment to sustainability. The menu is progressive and refined and the atmosphere is downright cozy. Try the grit fritters with country ham and Thomesville Tomme with 2014 Domaine Sigales Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece.” 

Poole’s Downtown Diner
426 S. McDowell Street, Raleigh, North Carolina

“Matt Fern and Chef Ashley Christensen take pride in cellaring wine until it’s ready to drink. Their ever-changing wine list is etched on chalkboard, giving them flexibility to choose bottles that are closer to their prime rather than offering things upon release. While it’s a small space, it has a big presence with boutique producers, whose offerings change just as frequently as the food menu. Try Roast Chicken with Herb-Scented Yukon Golds and Double Chicken Stock with the 2009 Lioco Hanzell Vineyard Chardonnay from Sonoma.”

Fearrington House Inn
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro, North Carolina

“Wine Director Maximilian Kast curated a list of more than 1,500 selections to complement the cuisine at this Relais & Chateau getaway—voted America’s top small hotel. His selections are vast but there is always someone energetic and passionate to help guide you or put together a tasting menu. Try the Lemon Cured Hamachi with black grit coral and Fearrington tea with 2011 Patrick Piuze Premier Cru Chablis.” 

On The Square Restaurant and Wine
115 East St. James Street, Tarboro, North Carolina

“Husband and wife duo Stephen and Inez Holderness run this urban bistro with so much love—it feels like you’re dining in their home. The seasonal, sustainable and ever-changing menu has treats like pan-roasted oysters with green onions and sherry chipotle. I love to treat myself to a bottle of 1999 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Champagne when visiting Inez. We’ve been great friends for more than 15 years.” 

701 St Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana

“Donald Link serves French- and Italian-inspired cuisine with a distinctive Southern twist alongside a dynamic wine list. I love the braised Kurobuta Pork Belly with mushrooms and potato puree with Paolo Bea Vigna San Valentino Montefalco from Italy.” 

Charleston Grill
224 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina

“General Manager Mickey Bakst and his staff have carefully curated an ambiance that is mellow yet lively—traditional, but contemporary. The best part about the Grill is the wine list that features 1,300 selections. The mark-ups are extremely fair which makes splurging on an older wine like 2009 Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf-du-Pape worth it. Have a bowl of their truffle popcorn, sit back and relax.”