The Elements of Wine is a fun, interactive wine tasting class taught by Andrew Fisher, the President of Astor Wines/Astor Center. To start, we were served a crisp, white Lambrusco, and gradually moved on to two whites (a citrusy Greek white and a buttery Californian Chardonnay) and three reds (a dry Grignolino from Italy, an Austrian Zweigelt, and a Spanish Rioja). We finished up with a sweet Moscato d’Asti. Over the course of the two hour class, Andrew walked us through the steps of tasting wine (look at it against a white background, swirl it, smell it, taste it, think about the flavors you’re tasting) and how to identify its unique characteristics. I now know that there are seven basic characteristics that wines possess on a scale from low to high: Sweetness, Acidity, Fruit, Oak, Body, Tannin, and Intensity. Andrew also taught us how wine and food can be paired in ways that enhance the flavors and allow you to taste things that you wouldn’t normally experience when consuming them individually. We tested this out by taking a sip of a specific wine, then a bite of cheese or butter, and sipping the wine again. It was amazing how the flavors changed and complimented the food. By the end of the class, I knew so much more about the basics of wine and why it can taste even better when paired with certain foods. I highly recommend this class for beginners who enjoy wine and would like to learn more.
Astor Center: 399 Lafayette Street (at East 4th Street)
The tasting classroom
Each seat had 6 wine glasses and a few snacks (from the left: salt, butter, parmigiano reggiano, tete du moine, soppressata, nuts)
Our awesome instructor, Andrew Fisher, pouring us a glass of white Lambrusco before class started
Checking out the wine over a special wine light
The wines we tasted during our class
All done! When’s round 2 starting?