Find your cullinary voice

Wine and Beverage Classes

Wine and Beverage Classes at ICESwirl, 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 15-November 17, 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
Wednesdays, May 27-July 1, 6:30-8:30pm
or Mondays, June 15-July 20, 6:30-8:30pm
or Thursdays, July 16-August 20, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, August 12-September 16, 6:30-8:30pm
or Mondays, September 28-November 9, 6:30-8:30pm

$495 • 6 sessions
This 6-session 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
Thursdays, September 17-October 8, 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 Wines; 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.

Introduction to Wine

with Richard Vayda
Thursdays, June 4-11, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, July 15-22, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, September 23-30, 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.

 

MIXOLOGY, SPIRITS & BEER

 

Bartending 101

with Anthony Caporale
Wednesdays, June 24-July 1, 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 history, traditions, and production methods behind each major category of alcoholic beverage (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, beer, and wine), and discuss their flavor profiles and common uses. You’ll do tastings of the popular brands, then learn all of the most common drinks for each liquor.

The very hands-on second session will cover recipes and mixing techniques for both classic and modern cocktails. You’ll learn all about bar setup, glassware, pouring, mixing techniques for each type of drink, best practices, service speed and working clean, recipes, and popular cocktails (straight and rocks; highballs; juice drinks, multi-liquor drinks; martinis; frozen drinks; pousse-cafés; hot drinks; beer and wine cocktails). You'll then have the opportunity to make each drink under Anthony Caporale’s guidance.

Click here to register.

The Cocktail Lab: A Hands-On Workshop

with Jonathan Pogash
Tuesday, June 30, 6:30-9:30pm
or Thursday, August 13, 6:30-9:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Are you looking to expand your cocktail-making repertoire? Step behind the bar with The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash, one of the country's premiere cocktail consultants and bartenders for restaurants and spirit companies. With Jonathan's help, you'll free your creativity as you craft your own original cocktails. After a quick primer on basic bar techniques, current cocktail trends, and the science behind perfect flavor combinations, you’ll be let loose to create your own unique libations, using Jonathan’s guidance to perfect your technique. We will provide a cornucopia of spirits, mixers, fresh fruits, juices, herbs, and spices for your creations, and you’ll have the opportunity to design your own signature cocktail. Each student receives: Two specialty cocktail samples; one Daiquiri cocktail made as a group; full instruction by Jonathan Pogash and his team.

Click here to register.

Introduction to Mixology

with Michael Cecconi
Thursday, September 17, 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.

Shaking It Up With Spice

with Michael Cecconi
Saturday, September 19, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Start (or end) your week right by exploring spice in cocktails! By taming spice with sweet, sour, and savory, a wealth of flavors become available from all corners of the globe. In a glass. With alcohol. We'll be featuring: Thai Bird’s Eye, Sriracha, Black Pepper, Guajillo, Wasabi, and more.

Click here to register.

Cocktail Menu Madness

with April Wachtel
Friday, June 12, 6:30-8:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Looking to create a cocktail menu for your next party or event? Ever wonder how the pros decide what cocktails to put on their lists? Get down and dirty with menu design in this fun, hands-on cocktail workshop with mixologist and educator April Wachtel. We'll talk about the principles behind menu development, and examine samples from some of the best cocktail bars in the city. We’ll also prepare some classics, choosing among a Daiquiri; an Old Fashioned; a Margarita; and a Mojito. Each student will then create a five-cocktail "menu" that incorporates these classic drinks—and you'll create two signature recipes from scratch!

Click here to register.

Culinary Mixology

with Anthony Caporale
Wednesday, August 5, 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.

Shaken vs. Stirred: Why and When

with Jonathan Pogash
Wednesday, September 9, 6:30-9:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Was James Bond right? Are martinis best when shaken? What's the difference, and what makes one better than the other? Are there proper techniques to shake and stir? In this class led by Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru, you'll shake, stir, explore, and taste tons of classic cocktails. Decide for yourself what works best—and while doing so, try your hand at inventing your own beverage creations under Jonathan's guidance! We'll mix and enjoy: Classic Martini, Classic Manhattan, Negroni, Blinker, Gimlets, and Fizzes.

Click here to register.

Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch Mixology

with Anthony Caporale
Wednesday, May 27, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesday, July 29, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesday, October 7, 6:30-8:30pm

$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, Bourbon, and Scotch 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.

Whiskey, Bourbon and Scotch Tasting

with Anthony Caporale
Wednesday, July 22, 6:30-9:30pm
or Wednesday, September 30, 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.

Modern Italian Craft Beers

with Lisa Witkowski
Thursday, August 6, 6:30-8:30pm
$85 • 1 session

Italy has an established history as wine country, but these days, it's also where some of the most adventurous craft brewing is happening. Taste some of the most exciting examples, and discuss the highly skilled brewers who are pioneering the craft beer revolution in the land of Slow Food. Under Certified Cicerone Lisa Witkowski, of Queens microbrewery Singlecut Beersmiths, we'll start developing descriptors for beer aroma and flavor; discover what ingredients and processes are being embraced by modern Italian craft brewers, and learn how to approach food pairings for these nontraditional styles. And, of course, we'll pour generous tastings of exciting Italian craft beers!

Click here to register.

A Tour of Belgian Beers

with Lisa Witkowski
Thursday, August 27, 6:30-8:30pm
$85 • 1 session

Belgians have a reputation for innovative and carefully crafted beers, which go hand-in-hand with their love of gastronomy. When we think of Trappist and Abbey ales, we automatically think of Belgium, where nearly all of these abbeys reside. Certified Cicerone Lisa Witkowski, of Queens microbrewery Singlecut Beersmiths, will start with a brief history of Belgian beers, known for their complex spice and fruit flavors, as well as their historically based higher alcoholic content. Together, we'll start developing helpful descriptors for fermentation-derived aromas and flavors, discuss the food pairings that bring out the best in these beers, and, of course, taste the best examples of many classic Belgian Styles, including Trappist ales.

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.