On Saturday night my sister and I went to Wine 101, a class held at NYC Wine Company in Chelsea, and it was so much fun! The event space was intimate but airy, with tall ceilings and lots of light. There were several tables set up where everyone can sit, and they start you off with a nice sparkling wine to sip on while you chat with your table mates. The class was a perfect blend of relaxed and structured, with the instructor teaching us about wine basics in between having us taste a bunch of different varieties. They organized it so you had two side-by-side comparisons; first there were two Sauvignon Blancs, then two Rieslings, then two types of Shiraz, etc. This way you could make comparisons between the two in terms of smell, texture, taste, and more. Along with each wine there were cheeses to complement the selections, and before and after tasting each pair the instructor told us a little about them in terms of what to expect, where they were made, and what qualities the wines possessed (dry, sweet, tannins, etc).
The instructor of the class was fantastic and very knowledgable, having spent time in wine regions of Hungary, France, and California. He and his assistant were totally personable and friendly, and he explained everything in terms that were understandable. He made wine seem approachable (rather than intimidating), and individualistic, explaining that there’s no universal “good wine,” it’s really just all about personal preference and what you like.
Overall it was a really cool class and I would highly recommend it to anyone in NYC looking for a fun night with the girls, a good date option, or even just a night on your own where you can meet some cool people with a common interest. Between that and my photography class earlier in the day, I felt like I was back in school! (fun school though). It was definitely really nice to have a night out where you’re actually doing something.
If you’re a New York City reader, definitely check out the class list here. Besides Wine 101 they have classes about exotic wines, classes focusing specifically on reds and whites, and others that focus on a specific region. They do corporate events and bachelorette parties as well, and I think a gift certificate for a class would also make an awesome and unusual gift.
Next on my list: a dessert wine and chocolate class! Now that would be right up my alley.