It's hard to go a city block in New York City without stumbling over a wine bar. Despite the proliferation of elegant shrines to the beloved grape, well-curated yet unpretentious wine tastings are surprisingly hard to find. If you've always wanted to attend a tasting but think you don't know enough about wine to hold your own, do yourself a favor and let that one go. You don't need an expert swirl or in-depth knowledge of the difference between Blanc de Blanc and Beaujolais to enjoy yourself. Just remember to hold your glass by the stem, inhale deeply before sipping and make your way to these friendly, professional establishments.
510 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019
A casual mix of old and new, Ardesia gently honors its Hell's Kitchen roots while presenting a fun, gentrified drinking and dining experience. Make your way here on Saturday afternoons, when the work crowd has scattered and the knowledgeable staff offers up their weekly Wine Social, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Ardesia's savvy sommeliers take the crowd's pulse, tailor-making the experience as a wine flight or easy-going, in-the-background dialogue. Five different wines -- rotated seasonally -- are uncorked for an unlimited, open pouring at $25 per person. An equal emphasis is placed on old and new-world selections.
The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen
434 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10024
A Mediterranean menu and Old World wine list set the stage for Winesday Wednesdays, when every bottle on Tangled's extensive and impressive wine list is available by the glass. If you've been salivating for the Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru Domain Chandon de Briailles 2006 but didn't want to spring for a $158 bottle, now's your chance to sip a little bit of French heaven. If you can't wait until Wednesday, Tangled also offers daily selections of pre-selected trios, coupled with optional, tasting-sized food-pairings.
Related: New York City's Best Wine Bars
Brooklyn Oenology Winery Tasting Room
209 Wythe Ave., Suite 106
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Artfully embracing the art and science of wine making with a distinctly Brooklyn flair, this locally focused winery offers wine flights in its Tasting Room -- a cozy Williamsburg bar where the pretty-in-pink crowd of local denizens is subtly studded with over-the-bridge celebrities. Patrons can mix and match their own flights or surrender to the staff's uber affordable picks.
Morrell Wine Bar & Café
1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
A venerable, Post-World War II institution, Morrell Wine Bar & Café is still one of the largest and most distinguished in the city, known for its rare wine vault and ever-increasing selection of over 150 vintages, sold by the glass. Private, scheduled wine tastings for groups of 10-35 people are held in the café's hushed and lovely mezzanine at $75 per person, which includes sumptuous appetizers. The informal, guided events feature patron-favorites like Au bon Climat Merrywood and Heights Sauvignon Blanc.
34 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10014
Anfora, well-known for their Kentucky Derby bourbon tastings, also do unique, private wine tastings. These pre-booked, guided events are highly individualized and tailor-made to accommodate even the most adventurous or refined palate. Tastings last for two hours and include light, tasty fare. The per person fee ranges from $50-$100, based upon tasting selection.
Related: 5 Best Wine Stores In New York City
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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