Laura Maniec MS is a judge at the at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)

Laura Maniec MS is the owner of Corkbuzz Wine Studio, which she opened in New York City’s Union Square neighbourhood in 2011 with business partner Frank Vafier. Since opening Corkbuzz – part wine bar, part wine school – Maniec has been praised by the press, including being named the ‘It Girl’ of the New York wine scene by The Wall Street Journal. She discovered her enthusiasm for wine through an 18-week sommelier course, going on to become a sommelier at Blue Fin restaurant in New York City once she was legally allowed to drink. Progressing quickly, Maniec was made a partner and wine and spirits director of the B.R. Guest Restaurant Group. At the age of 25, she managed the wine lists for 25 restaurants across the country, and educated the entire front-of-house team on wine. In summer 2010, Maniec left B.R. Guest and spent the harvest in Champagne, setting up Corkbuzz on returning to New York. Maniec is on the board of directors for the Guild of Sommeliers and the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas, and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s New York chapter. She regularly sits on The New York Times tasting panel also contributes to publications including Food & Wine and Sommelier Journal. Corkbuzz is opening an additional location in spring 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the first year Maniec has been a DWWA judge.