4905 Ashley Park Ln J
Charlotte, NC 28210
In the heart of South Park, just steps from the mall, you’ll find a sleepy little street with a handful of amazing restaurants. One of these is Corkbuzz, a wine studio that offers an impressive selection from vineyards around the world. With a handful of high-top or standard tables inside and impressive bar seating, Corkbuzz is a great spot to meet friends for drinks or quiet enough to enjoy a date night. There’s also a nice little outdoor patio if you prefer to enjoy your wine or meal outside.
One of my favorite parts about this experience was the ability to purchase wine flights for around $15. These flights include three 3-ounce glasses. We sampled the La Vie en Rosé and were surprised to learn about the growing number of vineyards in Tasmania. Of the three, my favorite was the Ponte Vinho Verde Rosé, which was more full bodied with a sweet finish. This rosé is bottled with residual sugar at the bottom that continues to ferment throughout the aging process, which gives it the slightest hint of effervescence.
If you don’t like wine, don’t rule Corkbuzz out as they offer a handful of fun cocktails. I ordered the Ashley Lane, which I found to be refreshing and smooth –the perfect summer sipper. The flavors of mint, lime and pomegranate liquor easily complement the gin making it easy to get yourself into trouble with this one!
Corkbuzz offers a fairly extensive menu with small plates, meat and cheese boards, and entrees. I cannot recommend the octopus enough! I never was a fan of octopus, outside of calamari, as I found it to be too chewy and flavorless. Turns out, I’ve only had bad octopus. Though it’s not for the faint of heart, this grilled octopus is so tender and almost has the flavor of lobster; it’s definitely not fishy and worth the leap of faith.
If you’re not feeling as adventurous, the sea bass croquettes are out of this world! Croquettes are a small bread crumbed fried food roll containing mashed potatoes and in this case, fresh sea bass. They are topped with an arugula aioli that made me want to lick the plate.
We tried two entrees: ricotta gnocchi and NC Trout. I have a borderline obsession with gnocchi and though this dish was good, it wasn’t necessarily anything to write home about. It’s served with cherry tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms and pole beans, which adds a nice contrast to the heavier pasta.
The trout was exceptional! This mild, buttery fish was served with the skin on, but in this case was very easy to remove. Additionally, the spaghetti squash on the side complements the trout nicely.
Next time I go, I might consider ordering an entire plate of Corkbuzz’s Brussels sprouts. They’re that good! I mean, add cheese curds to anything and it’ll be good, but these Brussels are baked nicely with a little olive oil.
Corkbuzz’s menu offers you the opportunity to possibly try something new or discover a new favorite wine. Overall, it was an enjoyable meal and I can’t wait to go back!