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Wine Classes

Wine Classes at ICE

Introduction to Wine

Richard Vayda
Wednesdays, January 11-18, 6:30-8:30pm

or Fridays, March 24-31, 6:30-8:30pm
or Tuesdays, May 2-9, 6:30-8:30pm
$190 • 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.

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Wine for Couples

W.R. Tish
or Saturday, January 21, 6:30-8:30pm

or Saturday, February 11, 6:30-8:30pm
or Friday, May 19, 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!

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Wine Essentials: Classic World Wine Tour

Richard Vayda
Fridays, January 20-March 3
, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, February 15-March 22, 6:30-8:30pm
or Mondays, March 13-April 24, 6:30-8:30pm
or Thursdays, April 20-May 25, 6:30-8:30pm
or Tuesdays, May 23-June 27, 6:30-8:30pm
or Wednesdays, June 21-August 2, 6:30-8:30pm
$495 • 6 sessions
This six-week course, created by ICE Director of Wine Studies Richard Vayda, uses grape varietals, as well as winemaking regions, as the keys to understanding the full wine spectrum. You will receive a thorough introduction to winemaking, tasting, laws, and labeling as you learn about wine components and taste some of the world’s most celebrated wines.

Session 1: Winemaking and Wine-Tasting Basics
Session 2: France: The Wines and Grapes of Burgundy and Bordeaux
Session 3: The Major Wines and Varietals of Italy
Session 4: Spanish and Warm-Climate Wines
Session 5: West Coast and New World Wines
Session 6: A Tour of Sparkling Wine

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Wine Essentials II

Richard Vayda
Tuesdays, February 21-March 14, 6:30-8:30pm
$325 • 4 sessions
This four-week continuation of the Wine Essentials 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.

Session 1: Advanced White Wines: Side-by-Side Tasting of Interesting Aromatic and Fruity Wines
Session 2: France: The Wines and Grapes of Burgundy and Bordeaux
Session 3: Off-Dry to Sweet: Exploration of Elegant Rieslings to Cru Classé Sauternes
Session 4: Fortified and Aromatized Wines with Wine Service: Fascinating Wines, from Vermouths and Sherries to Madeiras and Portos

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Advanced Varietal Studies in Wine

Richard Vayda
Tuesdays, February 21-March 14, 6:30-8:30pm
$325 • 4 sessions

This four-week continuation of the Wine Essentials 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.

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

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Sommelier Secrets

Richard Vayda
Thursday, January 12, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Nothing is more daunting than having a wine list the size of a phonebook, swimming with incomprehensible foreign terms, dumped into your lap while you’re trying to enjoy a night out. Never fear! This class will forever help you navigate those perilous shoals. Using samples from contemporary wine lists, ICE Director of Wine Studies Richard Vayda will explain the meaning behind the various terms and categories on the typical wine list, and illustrate each by pouring you samples to enjoy. By evening’s end, you will have a firm grasp of the subject and enough background to make informed, delicious choices—and actually have fun while doing it!

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Introduction to Spanish Wines

Ashley Santoro
Thursday, January 19, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Take a road trip through Spain! Let sommelier Ashley Santoro, of The Standard hotel's restaurants, and the former wine director of Casa Mono and Bar Jamon, take you on a mind-expanding and palate-opening road trip through one of the most exciting wine regions of Europe. She'll guide you as you explore recognized regions such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero, and discover exciting developments within Galicia, the Canary Islands, and Andalusia. Throughout the tasting, we’ll be offering light pairings to accompany the wines.

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German Wine Made Easy

David Rosengarten
Thursday, January 26, 6:30-8:30pm
$95 • 1 session

Lest you think that most German wine is sweet, this informative and delightful wine-tasting class proves that Germany is making some excellent dry wines (in fact, about 75% of German wine is dry)! With former Food Network host and chef David Rosengarten, we'll first learn how to read and understand German wine labels. As we continue tasting, we'll consider such issues as grape variety, regions, and vineyards while exploring Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, and plenty more. After this entertaining class, you'll have the keys to unlocking the mysteries of what are arguably the world’s greatest white wines.

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Reserves from the ICE Cellar

Richard Vayda
Thursday, February 9, 6:30-8:30pm

or Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8:30pm
$130 • 1 session
ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, raids the cellar for this spectacular biannual 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. We'll end, naturally, 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.

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The Riches and Glories of Bordeaux

Richard Vayda
Saturday, February 25, 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!

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Understanding Wine: A Course for Enthusiasts and Professionals

Classes led by John Ragan and taught by top NYC wine and beverage experts
Tuesdays, February 28-May 9, 6:30-9pm
$1,895 • 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.

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Com-PAIR-ison

W.R. Tish
Saturday, March 18, 6:30-8:30pm
$90 • 1 session

Wine is always more fun with food—so let's double those pleasures! Join W. R. Tish, one of the city's most entertaining wine speakers, for a round of "com-PAIR-ison" tasting. Four pairs of contrasting wines will be taste-tested first without, then with, specially selected (and delicious) foods. We'll compare head-to-head glasses of Riesling vs. Sauvignon Blanc, Rioja vs. Shiraz, and much more, investigating what works, what doesn't, and why—while learning key lessons about the art of pairing grapes and bites!

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Grand Italian Tasting

Richard Vayda
Friday, April 7, 6:30-8:30pm
$130 • 1 session

Italy produces a host of casual and friendly wines, including many great drinking and food-loving quaffs that can be easily enjoyed every day. This wine excursion through Italy features gems from the ICE cellar. Resident Sommelier Richard Vayda has combed the ICE stock to assemble a exceptional tour of Italian jewels to while away the evening in our villa on the Hudson. The selections include wines from around the Italian boot, featuring a Super Tuscan, an aged Barolo, and much more. Expertly paired nibbles will also be served, naturalmente!

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Napa and Sonoma: The California Reserves

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

California is the top U.S. wine producer by far. When most people think of California wines, Sonoma and Napa valleys immediately come to mind. But in reality, only about 10% of the state’s wine come from these two celebrated regions.This evening’s tasting, hosted by ICE’s resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, pits the two regions' best varietals side by side in a no-holds-barred face-off! Come help judge the best and the tastiest from these two renowned areas. Delicious California cheeses will accompany the wines, of course!

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Spring Wine Social

W.R. Tish
Friday, April 21, 6:30-8:30pm
$65 • 1 session

If you'd like to learn more about wine and meet 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, often considered the funniest guy in the wine business. The detailed program that you'll receive when you enter the classroom means 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! A selection of delightful hors d'oeuvres will also be served.

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Beyond California: Exploring the U.S. Wine Scene

Richard Vayda
Thursday, June 1, 6:30-8:30pm
$85 • 1 session

Sparklers from Albuquerque? Crisp whites from Texas? Robust reds from Mid-Atlantic states? The American wine world extends far beyond its most famous regions. Join ICE's resident sommelier, Richard Vayda, for a fun and flavorful U.S. wine tour outside of California, as you crisscross the country to find some of the nation's great lesser-known wines. A delicious selection of American cheeses will accompany your tour.

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(888) 354-2433

Find your cullinary voice