Become your own sommelier

by Stoves and Bros


I completely understand that wine and drinks are an integral part of your food/dining experience. However, I cannot say that I know anything about wine. I have found myself in the wine store judging off of how much I like the labels (plain label are a no but cliché landscapes are a hard yes) and how much cash I happen to have in my wallet. This does not always lead to artful pairings when enjoying a meal. When I talk to the sommelier, I usually sound like this: "Erm, I like fruiitttyyyyy wine and maybe nothing red". In the interest of no longer embarrassing myself when navigating a wine list, I decided to buy a groupon-type deal for a "Wine 101" class at New York Vintners and enlisted some friends to do it with me. 

First impressions: The class itself is pretty static- you're sitting with your group in a round table layout. I imagined we'd all be standing and walking around. However, there was a large amount of cheese available so I liked that. 

Buck trying to figure out why no one we know likes chardonnay 

Buck trying to figure out why no one we know likes chardonnay 

They change the tasting menu for every class but we started out with some sparkling rosé (Greet Wine: Flor NV Prosecco Rosé) and then worked our way through whites and then reds. The sommelier leading the class gave great explanations for why every wine is different and what is the appropriate language to describe each one. While my group was slightly rowdier/ younger than the rest of the group, the group itself was equally inexperienced with wine and therefore it was a nice, safe space to ask stupid questions and make stupid comments. The sommelier was really patient too. So when she asked us what notes we were getting from the pinot grigio and my companions responded "alcohol", she was totally cool and guided us to the right answers. 

Overall,  a great experience. The full price of the class was 75$ (without the groupon) but I think it was a nice way to start the night and I certainly did absorb some of the information. While I am still not an expert, I am able to discern names and make some slightly more educated pairings. Thank you New York Vintners for having us!

The notes we were given to try to make sense of the tasting

The notes we were given to try to make sense of the tasting