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Wine Tasting in New York

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 7/8/2001 - www.Littleviews.com ]

>>  If you want to maintain a respectable social life in New York City, you need to keep up with imbibing trends. Just sipping, however, is not enough. To make it in the city, you need to discuss what's being poured into your goblet.

Fortunately, if you are seeking NYC activities, learning about wine will keep you out and about. And there are many, many wine (tea, beer and more) tasting events! You can attended these alone or with friends, they often don't require a special invitation, many are in nice restaurants, some are free and all provide great ways to meet new people.

In this article, you'll learn where you can find interesting NYC tasting events. A second, Training Your Tastes, will show you what's really behind such jargon as "bold" and "fruity."

Where to Find Wine Tasting Events

Distributors, Wine Specialty and Gourmet Stores:

  • If you already know about wine and simply want to sample more of it, contact wine distributors or liquor stores specializing in wine and ask about special events. The bigger of these stores advertise in the "Dining Out" section of the New York Times.

  • Check the NY Yellow Pages for wine distributors, contact them and ask them to recommend wine depots and wine tasting events related to their products. Of course, you can also search the web for this information, but the NY Yellow Pages provides a concise overview, and if meeting people is your objective, call and talk with a human.

  • Look at the weekly Calendar in the New York Times' "Dining Out" section (Wednesdays). There, you'll find a range of tasting events—from free to around $250 a person—with the more expensive events including meals. Just prior to writing this article, I read that the Italian Wine Merchants were hosting two free NYC events, while dinner and tasting of high quality Italian wines would be held at the Four Seasons ($225) and at Felida ($250).

    Note that while $200+ is expensive, spending that amount to experience a classy restaurant like the Four Seasons, eating a good meal, sampling 20 wines and meeting new people might be worth the price.

  • Every spring for the past 20 years, Macy's has sponsored DeGustibus. This event features numerous gourmet-oriented classes, including wine tastings. Current prices start at $428 for a series of six, and $75 per single class. (212-439-1714).

    Here you share a classroom with famous chef's, cookbook authors and wine experts. You'll see how foods are prepared and get to sample the results. Note that on its lower level, Macy's has a huge cooking utensil department—worth a trip just to see it—and has many of the things you'll learn about available for sale.

Educational Events: If you want to understand the subject of wine better without being pressured into buying wine, take classes.

  • The Learning Annex offers a monthly course led by Bill (Tish) Tisherman, an internationally known wine expert who writes for magazines like InStyle and Details. (www.learningannex.com or 212-371-0280)

    I recently attended his "Italy in a Glass" session ($54 for Learning Annex members), where we sampled 12 ample glasses of wine. His descriptions were easy to understand and his organization was excellent. Best, through him, I fell in love with Moscato d'Asti, an Italian dessert wine, which I plan on purchasing as gifts and for personal use. Buy, buy!

  • The New School University offers many classes on culinary arts, with 19 wine tasting classes listed in their current catalog. Single sessions include a course and materials fee in the $70 range and four classes are around $263 for the series. (Call 212 - 229-5690 for their catalog, visit www.newschool.edu and to subscribe for a weekly newsletter, email unicom@newschool.edu and write "Subscribe New School" in the subject field.)

    As of this writing, current courses include introductions to California, Australian, French and Italian wines, plus "Pinot, Merlot and Cab: Can You Tell the Difference?" and "What Grape is This? A Study in 3 Grapes." And what if you are a slow drinker? Then take "Introduction to Port," a course featuring wines from Portugal that can live in their bottles for centuries . . .

For a more extensive, regularly updated list, visit Littleviews' Locating Wine Tasting Classes in New York City.

Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 7/9/2001. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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