Learning About Wine With Corkbuzz

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Now that 2018 is underway, many have turned their attention to resolutions, and in the wine arena there is none better known than “Dry January.”

If you are a wine lover like me though the idea of backing away from one of your favorite things for 31 days straight is a little—well, nonsensical I guess is the best way to put it. In fact, my resolution for this year is the complete opposite of backing away from wine: I want to immerse myself in it as much as I can by taking wine classes.

This past weekend I kicked off my “studies,” if you will, with a wine course at Corkbuzz Wine Studio, and I’m here today to share my experience. 

For those of you who are not familiar with Corkbuzz, it’s a group of wine-focused restaurants that are owned and operated by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec.

It is definitely a place to go if you are serious about your wine, and for those who are trying to become serious about their wine, like myself, they offer all kinds of educational events. I decided to start with Wine 101 because I figured it would be a good place to get the big picture, which I needed.

As it turns out, it was a very good place to get it. And a fun one—what a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

The class covered all of the basics: the wine-making process, how terroir and climate affect taste and texture, and the difference between Old and New World wines. What I liked most about it though was the way the instructor taught us. The class was structured AND interactive, the way all learning environments should be.

As far as structure goes, one word: PowerPoint. But not boring-conference-presentation-PowerPoint. More backdrop-to-the-conversation-PowerPoint, if you know what I mean. It really kept us anchored as we were going through the detail.


The interactive component of course involved wine tasting—it was after all a wine class. This tasting was unique though, in that it was interwoven throughout the lesson to help us understand different wine characteristics as our instructor explained them.

It was also blind, which made it feel like a game. Instead of telling us what to look for in each wine, our instructor had us taste a couple at a time and tell him which was more citrusy. Sweeter. More tannic. Earthier. Then from there, we’d try to figure out the grape. The climate. The region. And so on.

To round out the experience, we even tasted corked wine at the end (if we so chose). Unfortunately, the question that followed that was, “are you getting the wet moldy newspaper?”

I so totally was. All in the name of becoming a wine expert, right?

Corkbuzz offers a range of classes for wine lovers of all levels, so whatever your background and/or interest you’re bound to find something you like there. Upcoming events are listed on their website, and they offer them at both the Union Square and Chelsea locations of the restaurant.

Corkbuzz Union Square is located at 13 East 13th Street, and Corkbuzz Chelsea is in Chelsea Market, at 75 9th Avenue.  

By: Reagan Daly

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