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Wine and Beverage Classes

Wine and Beverage ClassesSwirl, Sip, Taste and Learn

Pop open a bottle and bring your wine, beer and spirit senses to new heights with ICE’s classes for libation lovers of every level. Whether you’re no stranger to life’s liquid pleasures, or you’re swirling and spitting for the first time, join us for beginner to advanced instruction on worldly wines, the perfect meal pairings and the ultimate beer and cheese guide. Grab a friend or come solo to shake, mingle and sip your way to becoming an ‘at-home’ mixologist!

Below is a sampling of some of ICE's upcoming Wine and Beverage classes. Note: all students must be 21 years of age or older to register.

WINE 

 

Understanding Wine: A Course for Enthusiasts and Professionals

Classes led John Ragan and taught by top NYC wine and beverage experts
Tuesdays, September 16-November 18, 6:30-9pm
$1,750 •10 sessions

Are you a serious wine lover looking to deepen your knowledge? Do you want access to the same wine training that Danny Meyer’s sommeliers receive? Do you want to learn to talk intelligently about wine, or start your own collection? If you answered “yes’’ to any of these questions, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this 10-week journey through the wine regions of the world brought to you by ICE along with Union Square Hospitality Group wine director and Master Sommelier, John Ragan. Each week, the course will feature guest instructors including ICE’s Director of Wine Studies, Richard Vayda, as well as wine directors and sommeliers from Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and other restaurants from the USHG family. As part of each class, light bites will be provided by ICE’s chefs. This fast-paced and dynamic curriculum, until now offered exclusively for USHG staff, will take you through all the great wine regions of the world, and includes insights into tasting, pairing, collecting, and much more.
Click here to register. 

Wine Essentials

with Richard Vayda
Mondays, September 8-October20, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, October 22-December 3, 6:30-8:30pm
or Thurs-Sat, November 6-15, 6:30-8:30pm
or Tuesdays, December 2-January 20, 6:30-8:30pm
or Thursdays, January 22-February 26, 6:30-8:30pm
or Thurs-Sat, March 5-14, 6:30-8:30pm

$495 • 6 sessions
This 6-week course, created by ICE’s Director of Wine Studies, Richard Vayda, uses grape varietals as well as wine making regions, as a key to under-standing the full wine spectrum. You will receive a thorough introduction to wine making, tasting, laws and labeling, as you learn about wine components and taste some of the world’s most celebrated wines. Limited to 32 students.

Session 1: Wine Making & Tasting Basics
Session 2: France: The Wines & Grapes of Burgundy & Bordeaux
Session 3: The Major Wines & Varietals of Italy
Session 4: Spanish & Warm Climate Wines
Session 5: West Coast & New World Wines
Session 6: A Tour of Sparkling Wine
Click here to register.

For students who have completed the Wine Essentials program and wish to take the Wine Exam, please click here to get started.

Advanced Wine Essentials

with Richard Vayda
Wednesdays, February 4-25, 6:30-8:30pm
$325 • 4 sessions
This 4-week continuation of the Wine Essentials I series offers in-depth exploration and tastings of some of the world’s more interesting and unusual wines. Studies will include an expanded array of lesser known varietals and wines, as each class concentrates on one wine category and delves into the wines’ production, characteristics, and uses, including discussions of food and wine pairing. Prerequisite: Wine Essentials I.

Session 1: Advanced White Wines: Side-By-Side Tasting of Interesting Wine - Aromatic & Fruity Wines
Session 2: Advanced Red Wines: In-Depth Comparison of Selected Wines from Old & New World Regions
Session 3: Off-Dry to Sweet: Exploration of Elegant Rieslings to Cru Classé Sauternes
Session 4: Fortified & Aromatized Wines, with Wine Service: Fascinating Wines from Vermouths & Sherries to Madeiras & Portos
Click here to register.

Wine for Couples

W.R. Tish
Saturday, September 20, 6:30-8:30pm
or Saturday, September 21, 6:30-8:30pm
$180 for two • 1 session

Couples that enjoy good wine and good food live in the best possible city to indulge in both. But they can appreciate its treasures even more when they each have a better grasp of what types of wines they enjoy. Some wines are light, some are heavy; some sharp with acidity, some rough with tannin; some have oak, some don't. The aim of this class will be to gauge what styles of wine appeal most to you—together and individually. Noted wine writer and humorist W. R. Tish, of wineforall.com, will lead you through a range of diverse offerings that are sure to engage your senses and help you make sense of all that the wine world has to offer. Come with a date—or with a group of friends!
Click here to register.

Reserves from the ICE Cellar

Richard Vayda
Friday, September 26, 6:30-8:30pm
$130 • 1 session

ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, raids the cellar for this spectacular bi-annual tasting of selected premium wines. You will enjoy Cru Burgundies and Bordeaux, aged American Pinots and Cabernets, and other gems in a side-by-side tasting. The evening will start with a delicious sparkling wine, followed by samplings of an ever-varying collection from around the world, and end, of course, with a decanter of vintage dessert wine. Selections change from year to year. You will also enjoy fine cheeses and other nibbles to enjoy the unique beverage selections.
Click here to register.

The Riches and Glories of Bordeaux

Richard Vayda
Wednesday, October 8, 6:30-8:30pm
$90 • 1 session

This course covers the extraordinary variety of wines that prevail in Bordeaux, from the great châteaux of the Médoc, to the older and lesser-known production from smaller regions. You'll learn about wines from the areas in the west and south of Bordeaux that produce magnificent wines—which often sell at a fraction of the price of their more illustrious neighbors. Walk away filled with both extraordinary wine and extraordinary new knowledge!
Click here to register.

Holiday Wine Social

W.R. Tish
Saturday, December 6, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

If your New Year resolutions included learning more about wine and meeting new people, you're in luck! ICE's Wine Social will present 18 wines that cover a wide range of grapes, regions, and styles---all in a casual format that encourages schmoozing with fellow wine lovers. The wines will be selected and presented by W. R. Tish, considered the funniest guy in the wine business. Detailed programs mean you will be able to spend more time chatting, less time jotting. Come single or come as a group: It's all about fun and good taste. Hors d'oeuvres will also be served.
Click here to register.

Introduction to Wine

with Richard Vayda
Monday-Monday, November 10-17, 6:30-8:30pm
or Friday-Friday, December 12-19, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesday-Wednesday, January 21-28, 6:30-8:30pm

$160 • 2 sessions
This class, crafted by ICE's resident sommelier Richard Vayda, is tailored to the wine novice who wants a quick, fun and basic introduction to the world of the grape. You'll learn the fundamentals of wine, wine tasting and appreciation, which will start you on the road to critically judging wine color, aroma, flavor, and body. You’ll discover the meaning of such wine concepts as dryness, acidity, fruitiness, tannins, varietals, vintages, and more. Participants interested in continuing their exploration of wine are encouraged to go on to Wine Essentials.
Click here to register.

Champagne Gala: An Evening of Celebrated Wines and Food

Richard Vayda
Thursday, December 18, 6:30-8:30pm
$125 • 1 session

ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, pulls out all the stops for this very special class. Too many people are intimidated by champagne, tending to tiptoe around it instead of enjoying and serving it with food. No longer! In this class, you will dine on beautiful hors d'oeuvres along with a select group of sparkling wines. Your evening begins with a discussion of the origin and making of sparkling wine, while tasting various examples---from non-vintage to vintage to rosé. The highlight of the tasting will feature a Prestige Cuvée Champagne paired with an American challenger. The class rounds out with students enjoying a buffet of classic luxury food matches while indulging in additional bubbly, making for a sparkling evening to remember!
Click here to register.

 

WINE & FOOD PAIRINGS

 

Italian Festival: Vino, Salume, e Formaggio

Richard Vayda
Wednesday, September 17, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Prosecco, prosciutto, and provolone—some of life’s simplest and tastiest pleasures come straight out of Italy. Join ICE director of wine studies Richard Vayda for a delicious discussion, as you tour some of the major wine regions of Italy while tasting traditional cheeses and cured meats. Winemaking as well as the production of cheeses and salami will be covered. Throughout it all, you'll enjoy a variety of scrumptious Italian pleasures, from fresh and uncomplicated to rich and complex. Un vero festival!
Click here to register.

Artisanal American Cheese and Wine

Richard Vayda
Tuesday, September 23, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

The US currently produces more cheese than any other country; fortunately, we have moved well beyond individually wrapped orange slices. Throughout the country we find some of the finest crafted cheeses of all sorts, from fresh and creamy to hard and rich, spanning every type, including soft ripened, wash-rind and blue, using a variety of milks as well. This delicious evening, join Richard Vayda for a walk through the cheese-making process while crossing the country tasting some of America's great cheeses and matching them to an interstate selection of wines.
Click here to register.

Délices de France: French Wines and Cheeses

Richard Vayda
Thursday, October 16, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

What could be better than wine and cheese---except, perhaps, French wine and cheese! Join ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, for a tour of some of France's best offerings in each category. The class will include discussions of major French wine regions, as well as the origin and processes behind various cheese types, from fresh and creamy to aged and funky. Tastings and pairings of wide selection of both will highlight the evening.
Click here to register.

Robust Reds and Stinky Cheeses

Richard Vayda
Monday, November 3, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Do you need an antidote for the cold weather? Can that antidote never be too rich or too flavorful? How about spending a whole evening with lush red wines from around the world and hearty cheeses that match them? Richard Vayda, ICE's Director of Wine Studies, will discuss cheesemaking and cheese service, as well as red wine and food pairing, as you sip and eat the evening away.
Click here to register.

Southern Hemisphere Wines: Australia, New Zealand & South Africa

Richard Vayda
Tuesday, November 11, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

With a winemaking history that dates back to the 1600s, South Africa offers a long vintner tradition, including many undiscovered gems. Couple that with Australia---one of the world's top wine producers---then add a bit of New Zealand’s modern know-how. Now we truly have the makings of a fascinating, historical, and delicious tour of the Southern Hemisphere. ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, guides this enjoyable and illuminating tour, matching the wines with complementing cheeses and snacks.
Click here to register.

Tour of South America: A Food & Wine Pairing

Richard Vayda
Wednesday, December 10, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

South America offers some of the world’s most varied winemaking terrain and climates, and it delivers on that promise with some delicious and noteworthy wines. Wonderful examples abound, whether we examine Old World favorite varietals such as Carmenère, Malbec, or Sauvignon Blanc, or South American additions to the canon, such as Torrontés. The evening will feature a tour around the continent, as ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, leads a tasting of these great wines, paired with some South American-style cheeses and snacks.
Click here to register.

Get It All Delivered: Takeout with Wine

Richard Vayda
Friday, January 23, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

New York is terrific for takeout food. So many choices abound that everyone can find their favorite cuisine. This may seem like a wine-matching nightmare, but in fact, takeout offers a unique opportunity to sharpen your wine-selection skills. A well-paired bottle can turn delivery into dining—or just a more fun and interesting experience. In this class, we sit back with ICE resident sommelier Richard Vayda and have Chelsea deliver some of its best—pizza, Chinese, Latin, and much more—while we snack and experiment with a diverse selection of wines (international whites, reds, and sparkling), learning the principles behind great matches as we discover our new favorite pairings. 
Click here to register.

 

WHISKEY, BOURBON & SCOTCH

 

Reserve Whiskey Tasting

Anthony Caporale
Wednesday, October 1, 6:30-9:30pm
or Friday, February 6, 6:30-9:30pm

$325 • 1 session
Bourbon, America's national spirit, is in the midst of a boom unlike anything that's been seen since Prohibition. There are more bourbons available than ever before, and prices for the rarest bottles have soared into the thousands of dollars. Even for the dedicated aficionado with four figures to spend on whiskey, the most coveted bottles are nearly impossible to find at any price. So the Institute of Culinary Education has tracked down a true connoisseur's selection of the finest bourbons on the market, and we're offering a select Master Tasting of these elixirs, hosted by celebrity whiskey expert Anthony Caporale, a Kentucky colonel commissioned by the state governor to do bourbon education! Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sample the very best whiskey our country has to offer under the expert guidance of a world-renowned spirits professional.
Click here to register.

Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch Tasting

Anthony Caporale
Thursday, September 11, 6:30-9:30pm
or Thursday, October 30, 6:30-9:30pm
or Saturday, December 13, 6:30-9:30pm
or Tuesday, January 6, 6:30-9:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Whether you're a Scotch drinker, a bourbon fan, or you just want to develop an appreciation for dark liquors, this course is for you. Anthony Caporale, producer and host of "Art of the Drink TV" and former beverage manager for Mesa Grill, will introduce you to the history and science behind cask-aged spirits. You will learn the correct way to taste and evaluate different styles, sample both common and rare brands, and compare flavor profiles. Come over to the dark side and find out how fun and accessible the world of whiskey can be! Be sure to sign up for our companion Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch Mixology class as well, and get hands-on experience making classic cocktails using these spirits!
Click here to register.

Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch Mixology

Anthony Caporale
Tuesday, December 2, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Join Anthony Caporale for a hands-on sequel to our consistently sold-out Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch Tasting class! You'll master the making of eight classic whiskey cocktails, including: Bourbon and Branch, Seven and Seven, Old-Fashioned, Rusty Nail, Classic Manhattan, Dry and Smoky Rob Roy, Bourbon Whiskey Sour, and Sazerac. Then we'll explore ways to customize these drinks to perfectly suit your tastes—and your guests'. If you've already taken our whiskey-tasting class, this is the ideal next step to apply your knowledge. If you haven't, this class will provide a fantastic overview of how to use whiskey in creating a fantastic cocktail.
Click here to register.

 

MIXOLOGY & TASTINGS

 

Bartending 101

Anthony Caporale
Tues-Wed, September 9-10, 6:30-9:30pm
or Wed-Thurs, January 28-29, 6:30-9:30pm
$150 • 2 sessions

Are you a working bartender looking to take your technique and product knowledge to the next level? Are you a cocktail aficionado who wants to learn how the pros make drinks? If you want a rock-solid foundation in the history, science, and skills behind professional mixology, this course is for you.

During the first session, you will learn the traditions and production methods behind each major category of alcoholic beverage (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, beer, and wine), taste through popular brands, and discuss flavor profiles and common uses. The very hands-on second session will cover mixing techniques for different types of drinks, as well as recipes for classic and modern cocktails. You'll have the opportunity to make drinks under the guidance of Anthony Caporale, producer and host of Art of the Drink TV and beverage director for Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay's flagship restaurant. Caporale has been involved in the opening of a dozen major restaurants in his 20 years as bar instructor and bar chef.

You will cover: Session 1: Product Knowledge Alcohol 101: History, properties, and production techniques; history, production, popular brands (tastings), and common drinks for vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, beer, and wine. Session 2: Technique Bar setup; glassware; pouring; mixing techniques: how to correctly build each type of drink; best practices: service speed and working clean; recipes: practice making popular cocktails (straight and rocks; highballs; juice drinks, multi-liquor drinks; martinis; frozen drinks; pousse-cafés; hot drinks; beer and wine cocktails).
Click here to register.

Early American Cocktails with Joe Campanale

Joe Campanale
Monday, September 22, 6:30-9:30pm
or Wed-Thurs, January 28-29, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Joe Campanale, beverage director/owner of dell'anima, L'Artusi, L'Apicio, and Anfora restaurants in NYC, will lead you on an exciting tour of early American cocktails, from their beginnings in the 1850s until Prohibition in 1919. This time period is when the cocktail as we know it was born---and it's the basis for the current mixology resurgence. Join Joe as you create and taste these classic drinks and learn about the history of the American cocktail. You will stir, shake, and sample: Brandy Punch; Whiskey Sour; Champagne Cobbler; Prescription Julep; Manhattan; and a Martinez.
Click here to register.

Culinary Mixology

Anothony Caporale
Tuesday, October 7, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Take your cocktails to the next level and start mixing like a chef. Instructor Anthony Caporale, host of Art of the Drink TV, will show you how to make incredible drinks using herbs, spices, vegetables, and other ingredients more commonly found in the kitchen than behind the bar. You will learn to make a Seafood Bloody Mary, add bell peppers to your Mojitos, and spice up your martinis with fresh basil. You're guaranteed to move your liquor cabinet closer to your window-box garden after this class!
Click here to register.

Chocolate and Whiskey: The Perfect Pair

Eagraine Yuh
Friday, October 31, 6:30-9:30pm
$85 • 1 session

There has never been a better time to love chocolate: Quality chocolate is available everywhere and from more producers than ever before. Did you know that chocolate can taste fruity, earthy or nutty? And that all those flavors are inherent to the chocolate, not from any added flavors? In this class, you’ll learn the five steps to tasting chocolate like a pro. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to practice, then taste some remarkable chocolates paired with select whiskeys. Join chocolate expert and author Eagranie Yuh as we dissect the perfect pairing of chocolate and whiskey. Every student will receive Eagranie's book, "The Chocolate Tasting Kit," with the class (a $25 value).
Click here to register.

Prohibition Cocktails

Anothony Caporale
Friday, December 5, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Celebrate Repeal Day at ICE with a selection of Prohibition-era cocktails! Anthony Caporale, host of Art of the Drink TV and ICE’s Director of Beverage Studies, will take you back in history to a time when jazz was hot, flappers were cool, and drinks like the Mary Pickford and the Ward Eight were all the rage. We’ll look at recipes from before and after the Noble Experiment, and touch on how Prohibition changed not only what we drink, but how. If you’ve ever wanted an authentic taste of the Roaring Twenties, you won’t want to miss this unique class!
Click here to register.

Couples Cocktails

Anothony Caporale
Tuesday, September 30, 6:30-9:30pm
Friday, December 19, 6:30-9:30pm
or Friday, January 23, 6:30-9:30pm
$180 for two • 1 session

The couple that plays together stays together—and what’s more fun than making drinks for two? Join the host of Art of the Drink TV and ICE Director of Beverage Studies Anthony Caporale as you learn to make amazing His-n-Hers Cocktails: a new way for couples to enjoy drinks together. Each His-n-Hers pairing consists of two cocktails with complementary flavor profiles—one geared toward a more masculine palette and presentation and the other toward more feminine tastes. The flavors are designed to be mixed, preferably through an after-sip kiss. The ingredients, while of high quality, are commonly available, making everything accessible and easy to prepare. Your drinks include: classic and contemporary spins on His-n-Hers Martinis.
Click here
to register.

Introduction to Mixology

Michael Cecconi
Thursday, January 15, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Join Michael Cecconi, bar chief at San Francisco's Two Sisters Bar & Books, for an introduction to the world of cocktails. Besides learning to make well-balanced and delectable classic cocktails, you will also taste your way through the essential spirits of a home bar and become familiar and comfortable with using the tools of the trade. We'll make Martinis, Mojitos, Piña Coladas, French 75s, and more!
Click here to register.

Obscure Mixology

Michael Cecconi
Friday, January 16, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

With the endless selection of spirits available at the liquor store and the expanse of bottles behind most bars, deciding what to drink can be dizzying. Let Michael Cecconi, who has more than 12 years bartending in New York, weed through the choices and share with you some of the best of the rest, which go much beyond gin, rum, and whiskey. You will make cocktails using amaro, mescal, applejack, and anisette.
Click here to register.

Winter Mixology

Michael Cecconi
Saturday, January 17, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Although the weather outside is frightful, Michael Cecconi has a few tricks up his sleeve to make the winter as tasty, tantalizing, and tolerable as the warmer months. Think of him as your very own St. Bernard to fortify you through the cold. You'll learn all the benefits, tricks, and tips for mixing with Homemade Grenadine, Meyer Lemons, Blood Oranges, Sloe Gin, Beets, and more!
Click here to register.

ICE Center for Wine Studies

The ICE Center for Wine Studies in NYC is designed to build your understanding, awareness, and appreciation for the whole spectrum of wine, as well as other beverages such as beer, spirits, and sake.

The course includes a mix of one-session, two-session and six-session classes. The most in-depth wine tasting class at The Institute is the Wine Essentials class, which meets once a week for six weeks, with each session dedicated to a particular topic, such as Bordeaux or sparkling and dessert wines. The school's Wine and Food Workshops teach students to enjoy wines in combination with food. There are also classes on the wines of France, Italy and the west coast of the United States, and the ever-popular Introduction to Wine. In short, whatever your wine tastes and needs, there is a class at ICE to fulfill them.

ICE has also added a new dimension to the program: certificates. The first level of certification is called the Premier Cru Certificate, and the advanced second level is titled the Grand Cru Certificate. Earning these is a way to affirm your newfound knowledge and sample a globe's worth of great wine.

Our wine tasting room is a 900 square-foot facility with full ventilation (so cooking odors from the pastry kitchens don't intrude), bright incandescent light and white tabletops (for accurate wine viewing). The instructors of The Institute who teach our wine tastings and classes, as well as our beer and spirits classes are some of the most competent and celebrated in all of New York City.

For students who have completed the Wine Essentials program and wish to take the Wine Exam, please click here to get started.