Raise a Glass for 9 Great Wine Tasting Classes in NYC

If a wine list is like hieroglyphics to you, you might want to up your game when it comes to ordering from the menu instead of just taking your server's advice. Get to know more about wines than red or white and enjoy separating the Chablis from the Chardonnays and Chiantis by checking out NYC's best wine classes. The possibilities below are offered by experienced sommeliers at wine bars and culinary education centers throughout the city. There's nothing quite like wine school—it works great for a date!

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Corkbuzz


Corkbuzz is a wine bar with locations in Chelsea Market and near Union Square. They host classes on any and every oeno-centric topic under the sun. Sure, you'll find a Wine 101 there, but more experienced palates can explore the depths of favorite varietals like Syrah and Riesling. Other upcoming classes, held at each Corkbuzz location, include instruction on Chocolate and Wine Pairing; a series of 6 Blind Tasting Classes and a Tour of Austria & Germany. You can buy classes by a 3- or 5-visit package at Corkbuzz for a deal on these events, all hosted by Master Sommelier Laura Fiorvanti, co-founder of Corkbuzz. Union Square: 13 E. 13th St.; Chelsea: 75 Ninth Ave.;

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Murray’s Cheese

Murray's Cheese wine class

Say cheese! West Village mainstay Murray’s Cheese is an authority not only on exotic cheeses but also the beverages that pair well with them. In fact, it's a wine and food magnet. The business was founded in 1940 and specializes in the world’s finest cheese imports, in addition to assorted meats and specialty foods. And get this: Murray’s hosts cheese-making and pairing classes every night of the week. The following recurring events, all featuring flights of wine, will put you in the happiest of places this winter and spring, Included among the offerings:  Pairing Perfection, Wine & Cheese Pairing, Big Red: Red Wine & Cheese, and Bubbles & Cheese. 254 Bleecker St., 888-MY-CHEEZ,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Wine Bootcamp at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Wine Bootcamp hosted at the lovely wine bar La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels promises "High Intensity Interval Drinking" at its suite of eclectic intensives. For 50 minutes, you’ll discover the wines of Hungary, puzzle over the “Champagne Riddle” (your guess is as good as ours), and work your way through pet-nat wines, orange wines and a series of underrated wine regions like Alsace and the Sierra Foothills. No passport required. You’ll also blind-taste a series of wines and nosh away as a sommelier leads you on your quest. There are multiple classes a week; so have a look the schedule in the link below! 249 Centre St., 212-343-3660,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: De Gustibus

De Gustibus

Who knew? Conveniently tucked into the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square, De Gustibus invites celebrity chefs and other restaurant luminaries to hold classes and demonstrations for the public. They provide wine classes about once a month. where aficionados can look forward to instruction on regions, pairings and enjoy small bites while soaking up all that ...knowledge. 151 W. 34th St., 212-239-1652,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Institute of Culinary Education

As a highly-touted training ground for chefs and others in the hospitality industry, ICE occasionally opens its doors to casual culinary pupils. Like their cooking classes, beverage instruction at ICE is configured at four levels that range from basic to professional. You'll learn to differentiate California wines from French, Italian and German, as well as take a deep dive into proper pairing with foods. All classes are run by ICE’s resident sommelier Richard Vayda. 225 Liberty St., 3rd Floor, 212-847-0700,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Le Grand Triage

le grand triage wine classes

Upper East Side wine shop Le Grand Triage: Wine & Whiskey offered an assortment of classes, each led by industry experts and certified sommeliers. Two-hour sessions present 5 to 6 glasses of wine (or whiskey) and you'll be treated to complimentary antipasti as well. These are also among the most affordable classes in New York (comparable events run $75 per ticket, whereas Le Grand Triage is usually $55 or $60), and the most highly rated on both Yelp and Google. Instruction will include traditional wine topics like "Wine 101" or "French Favorites," but you'll also delve into more whimsical themes like "Junk Food & Wine Pairing," or more advanced topics like "Secrets of Aged Wine" or "The Best Wines You've Never Heard About." (Check the class calendar, although many sell out so you'll want to reserve a spot on the early side.) 1657 First Ave., 917-475-1212,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: Haven’s Kitchen

Haven’s Kitchen classes focus on healthy options via sustainability and seasonal eating. Their Wine Club sessions occur the first Friday of every month. In them, the instructors Incorporate cooking with wine tasting, where each class highlights a cuisine and the vino of a specific world region as a facilitator guides students through the differences in wine varietals, growers and producers. 201 Varick St., 401-315-4337,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: The Brooklyn Kitchen

Cooking classes and wine instruction are both available at Brooklyn Kitchen, where newbies are introduced to a variety of kitchen skills. On the regular schedule: Wine Dinners with the Moore Brothers. Most classes combine cooking and wine pairing and will orient you to several wines from Industry City's wine shop Moore Wine, from which artisanal small-batch producers are sourced. Brooklyn Kitchen’s Chef Lizzy guides the cooking portion of the evening. 100 Frost St., 718-389-2932,

Best Wine Classes in NYC: NYC Wine Company

NYC Wine Company

Originally conceived as a passion project, Andrew Harwood founded NYC Wine Company to teach others about wine. His mastery of the topic and varietals from around the world is on display through a diverse suite of classes held in the West Village. Novices are encouraged to enroll in Wine 101, which promises to show why you like the wine you do (and provide noshes from Murray’s Cheese to go along with it). Other topics include Big Bold Reds, France: Making Sense of It All, and classics from Spain and Portugal. Looking for a deeper dive? There are also sessions revolving around such niche interests as the wines of Tuscany, wines produced on Islands & Volcanoes, and the up-and-coming world of Organic, Natural, and Biodynamic wines. These classes are also more affordable than some at $79 for all. 330 W. 11th St., 212-647-1875,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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