Take A Wine Tasting Class!

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Looking for a fun place to sample different wines and learn a thing or two without breaking the bank? Me, too. Here are a few establishments that conduct one-off tasting courses for the vine-curious:

Otto Pizzeria: Mario Batali’s casual restaurant hosts classes every weekend afternoon at 2 pm and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Sessions cost around $45, run 90 minutes and include tastings of five different Italian wines–usually regional or buy viagra online varietal groupings, such as “Coastal Italy” or “Southern Italy” or “Discover Sangiovese.”

Corkbuzz Wine Studio on E. 13th St. groups courses under the classifications of recreational, introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes are further organized by regions (a tour of Australia or Greece, for instance), wine pairings (cheese, pizza or BBQ) or blind tastings. Each seminar lasts 90 minutes and will run you about $50-$75.

NYC Wine Class in Chelsea offers various two-hour classes at $90, which often include Murray’s cheese (worth the price of admission alone) or other scrumptious foods that pair nicely with vino. Regional (“Napa vs. Bordeaux”), unusual varietals (“Exotic Whites To Remember”) or one I really want to take: “France: Making Sense Of It All”.

Whichever class you take, let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out like this, okay?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evsNo4vE3H4

Vino For Margherita

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I’m a pizza fan…one of the biggest. And while an ice cold beer tastes perfect with a pie on an 80 degree day…well, in the cooler months, a official canadian pharmacy pint of brew does nothing for me but fill me up and leave less room for gooey cheese. I’m first and foremost a wine gal, so I set out to find a few reasonably priced wines that would be compatible with pizza.

I asked a sommelier pal for pairings with your basic tomato, mozzarella and basil pie and he came up with a wallet-friendly list. Here you go:

For reds, three words say it all:  Barbera, Sangiovese (the grape of Chianti) and Primitivo. My buddy remarked that while all three of these are not overly fruity, they do have just enough fruit to make the natural sweetness of the tomato and cheese pop, plus enough tannin and acid to keep the palate fresh.

To be specific, get a Barbera d’Asti. Its round fruit favors and mild tannins will only set you back about $16 a bottle.

Or Apollonio Primitivo: $12-$18 will buy a bottle of the intense, richly-flavored full-bodied Primitivo from southern Italy. (FYI Primitivo is the likely origin of California’s Zinfandel, so think zin–but a little earthier.) This particular wine has lots of black cherry, coffee and cedar flavors.

And yes, whites pair well with a tomato-sauce based pizza, too. An un-oaked Chardonnay would be a good bet. Or Tocai Fruiliano. Or Soave.

Scubla Tocai Friuliano, from the Friuli region, sells for about $20 a bottle.

Pieropan Soave Classico is a young, fresh and vibrant wine with soft fruit flavors and orange blossoms and almonds on the finish.

(Don’t I sound knowledgeable? I actually think that even though wine tasting terms can tend to sound precious, they really are a good description when you’re actually tasting the wine.)

Remember, folks, that this is just a guide for a basic pizza–as you add various toppings to your pizza the pairings can change!

Hope you learned a little more about wine today. I know I did!