Discover the Best Wine Tasting Classes in NYC
Wine consumption in the US has risen over the last ten years. A recent survey found that 31% of surveyed Americans prefer to drink wine over beer or liquor. Increased consumption is partly a result of the emergence of online wine retailers. This method of purchasing wine and having it delivered straight to your door has made wine more accessible. This is in addition to the American wine industry growing exponentially in recent years, making demand easier to meet.
Wine’s popularity is not limited to the US. It has been a popular beverage around the world for thousands of years. Wine making methods have improved across histories and cultures as people have learned and shared better ways to grow wine grapes and improved upon the fermentation process. Today, you can find wines grown in various regions that have different tastes and aromas thanks to the different climates and soil their grapes are grown in.
Wine tasting has been a popular activity for centuries. Ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato would describe the taste of wine in their writings, letting us know that even then people were interested in the discernible qualities of wine types. Wine experts have since developed formal wine tasting methods, but wine tasting is still welcoming to inexperienced wine drinkers. Generally, when tasting wine, you want to try to assess four characteristics of the wine: its appearance, aroma, taste, and aftertaste.
If you and your friends have an interest in wine, consider taking a wine tasting class in New York City or hosting a wine tasting from your home. Both serve as great opportunities to learn more about the history of wine, try wines you’ve never tasted, and socialize.
Why You Should Learn Wine Tasting in NYC
Trying a variety of wines at a wine tasting is a good way to expand your palate. If you’re already a wine drinker and have stuck to the same type of wine for a while now, a wine tasting can introduce you to something new. Wine tastings will include wines that are priced differently, which will let you get a basic understanding of why some wines are more expensive than others. Wine tasting classes in New York City are led by expert instructors who will teach you how to pick out flavor notes within wine. At the end of a wine tasting class, after trying several different wines, you’ll likely have a better understanding of the flavor notes that you enjoy.
If you’re in NYC and looking for a fun social activity, consider attending a wine tasting with a group of friends, coworkers, or your partner. Wine tastings are a popular activity for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, and casual work events. Snacks are typically provided at wine tasting classes. Wine-friendly foods are generally served, including cheeses, crackers, and even pizza.
A wine tasting class usually includes between six and ten different wines, depending on how long the class is. With this many wines, you’ll be able to experience a variety of flavor notes and wines at differing price points that you can refer to when you’re ordering wine in the future. By learning the flavor notes you enjoy through a wine tasting class, you can figure out what type of wine you’ll enjoy at a restaurant. By knowing the prices of these wines, you’ll be aware of your budget ahead of ordering.
Wine prices are impacted by the location the grapes were grown in as well as the age of the wine. Wines produced in Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Napa Valley range on the pricier side. Aged wines, and especially wines aged in oak barrels, are also more expensive than younger wines. If you’re nervous about committing to a bottle of wine without knowing if you’ll enjoy it or not, attending a wine tasting may help. By sampling multiple wines at a tasting class, you’ll learn about what you do and don’t like in a wine.
In-Person Wine Tasting Classes & Schools in NYC
In-person wine tasting classes are offered across New York City at schools and other local venues to persons 21 years and older. In-person classes offer face-to-face instruction from a wine expert or professional (sommelier). In-person classes also offer the opportunity to socialize with others who have an interest in wine tasting.
CocuSocial Cooking Classes in Hell’s Kitchen offers an introductory class for inexperienced wine drinkers. In this class, Wine Tasting 101, you’ll sample six different wines (a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Merlot). The sommelier running the class will provide you with the history of each wine as you relax and learn to distinguish each flavor note. Food pairings for each wine will also be discussed along with practical wine tips such as how to blind taste.
The Wine Workshop in Manhattan offers a 1970’s German Riesling Tasting. This popular wine grape variety originated in the Rhine River region. If you enjoy white wants, consider taking this two-hour class. Anyone over the age of 21 is welcome to join, from beginners to wine aficionados. Several Riesling vintages will be sampled in this class, from the 1950s to the 2000s, but the majority will be from the 1970s.
If you enjoy cheese with your wine, Murray’s Cheese offers wine and cheese classes. Their Springtime Wine and Cheese class is led by a cheese professional. They also host a class that pairs cheese, chocolate, and Rosé, a fresh and fruity wine. You will sample four French wines, four French kinds of cheeses, and other snacks such as honey, meats, and jams. This class looks to teach you the importance of understanding flavor and texture when determining your pairings.
Virtual Wine Tasting Classes & Schools
In-person wine tasting classes allow you to meet new people and learn from an expert in a face-to-face manner. In-person classes also provide all the wine being tasted. However, in-person classes aren’t always right for everyone. There might not be any scheduled near you or they might require a long commute. In that case, virtual classes are an available alternative.
Live instructors teach virtual wine tasting classes remotely over a video platform from around the country. The classes offered focus on wine tasting basics, like flavor notes and aroma, the history of the wine samples, and practical wine tips.
If you take a virtual wine tasting class, you will need to order the wine tasting kit specified by your instructor. It’s likely that they’ll direct you toward a supplier who will either offer pick-up or delivery of your kit. These supplies often have discounts on wine as well. There are quite a few online wine tasting classes available for you to take on CourseHorse.
If you’d like to see how the climate and soil where wine grapes are grown affect the flavor of a wine, The NYC Wine Company hosts a virtual wine tasting class focused on wines made from grapes grown at vineyards located on islands and near volcanoes. In the class, Islands & Volcanoes you’ll sample six wines that came from places like the Canary Islands, Mount Etna, and Santorini. Your instructor will thoroughly address the unique properties of each wine you taste that are influenced by the location the wine is from. You’ll also learn the differences between each wine and how to find them.
Italy, California, and France are popular wine regions. The NYC wine Company has therefore offered classes in the past that focus on wines from these areas, such as Italy: North to South and The Hidden California. If you’re interested in wines from specific regions but there aren’t any classes currently being offered that focus on those regions, be sure to check back to CourseHorse to see what new and returning virtual wine tasting classes become available.
If you enjoy Italian wines or have an interest in learning about them, the San Francisco Wine School offers an Intro to Italian Wines tasting class. Italian wines are some of the most popular wines worldwide, making this class a great introduction to wine in general. It’s likely that if you go out and order wine, an Italian wine will be available. In this class, you’ll try six different Italian wines. Your instructor will teach you about the grapes used in the wines and the diversity present among Italian wines.
The San Francisco Wine School offers a variety of other wine tasting classes remotely. In their tasting class, Zinfandels of the World, you’ll learn about Zinfandel, a red wine produced using Zinfandel grapes. Although this grape makes up nearly 10% of California’s grapevine acreage, it also has close relations to some Croatian and Italian wines. By comparing Zinfandel to its relations around the world, you’ll receive an in-depth explanation of how climate and soil impact wine grapes. Whether you’ve had Zinfandel before or not, this class will let you taste and learn more about what is a staple among American wines.
If you enjoy sweet wines or would like to try some, the San Francisco Wine School hosts a wine tasting class centered around them. The class, Sweet and Fortified Wines of the World introduces you to classic dessert wines. Your instructor will also explain the production styles of dessert wines. Five to six wines will be tasted in this class.
The San Francisco Wine School also offers blind tastings to advanced wine drinkers. There are several blind tasting classes offered through their Advanced Blind Tasting program. In each class, you will identify wines that meet certain characteristics, like high acidity or thick skin. You will also practice identifying regional and varietal differences.
Private Group Wine Tasting Classes in NYC
Is your business or organization looking to schedule a wine tasting class as a fun after-work activity? If so, CourseHorse offers wine tasting classes for private groups that they can deliver to you.
CourseHorse can be contacted through the contact form on their website. If you reach out to them, they can work with you to figure out what type of class best suits your group’s interests and needs. They can accommodate varying group sizes and will supply materials for the class to your entire group ahead of time. If you don’t know your group’s size upon booking a class, you can provide them with the minimum group size before updating your headcount up to one week before the class.
CourseHorse does not charge a booking fee. They also allow for free cancellations up to two weeks before your class. It is recommended that your group uses Zoom when taking your class, but they can also accommodate Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and WebEx.