Master Sommelier Laura Maniec would do plenty well by offering only her discerning wine list at Corkbuzz, her new Union Square-area wine bar.

The offerings--35 different wines by the glass and more than 200 by the bottle--are so impressive, we'd be happy to camp out in one of the floral-patterned wingbacks and start working our way through the list.

Instead, Maniec hired the Seoul-born and Daniel- and Le Bernardin-trained chef Hayan Yi, thus elevating the food at Corkbuzz to a level that's better than it needs to be.

No mere greasy bar nibbles these; duck cracklings huddle in potato hash ($6), and scallion-pancake-battered Kumamoto oysters ($15) sit snuggled in their shells.

This is food that doesn't just allow for continued drinking--it assertively sits up and demands that you enjoy it.

Fringes of crispy pig's ear tussle with marinated mushrooms ($15). Both bucatini with Brussels sprouts and chile oil ($15) and minted lamb ragout ($15) surprise with their wallops of salt and spice.

In our opinion, both celebrations and the quotidian call for bubbles of the 2010 Renardat-Fache Cerdon de Bugey ($60 for 750 ml; $13 a glass) variety. Like a strawberry blast to the face, with a pink flush to match, this is a wine that promises a spring yet to come and is happy to tangle with anything on the menu.

Corkbuzz, 13 E. 13th St. (between Broadway and Fifth Ave.); 646-873-6071 or corkbuzz.com