Wine

Flight Unseen

Experience a blind tasting at Corkbuzz
At NYC's Corkbuzz Wine Studio, a happy hour special invites you to taste wines blind.
Laura Maniec's Corkbuzz Wine Studio in Union Square

You consider yourself a Pinot Noir girl. Or the guy who likes his Riesling.

While you think you know what you like, the truth is, wine-wise, you could be in the dark.

Forget your expectations--and get a crash course in wine appreciation--at the blind tasting at Union Square's Corkbuzz Wine Studio.

On Mondays and Fridays, from 5 to 6 p.m., newbies and pros alike gather for a happy hour tasting special with the challenge to identify three red or white wines based on little more than color, aroma and taste. Your only tools: a pen and a paper tasting grid.

"It gives you the opportunity to taste without any preconceived notions of what you do or don't like," says owner and certified Master Sommelier Laura Maniec. "You end up trying wines that you might not have ordered on your own, and you compare and contrast."

At Corkbuzz, over 200 wines are available by the bottle.
Though initially created for industry professionals, the happy hours have become equally popular with curious beginners; the tastings overlap with the bar's extensive wine education programs.

"It's a way to accommodate people who want to learn something without committing to a whole class," says Maniec. "It's a mini lesson in wine."

When we went, we correctly identified a Spätlese Riesling, first noting its signature petrol aroma, but we were clueless when it came to a 2001 Bordeaux from St.-Émilion.

Maniec recommends letting the staff sommeliers guide you. They're a talkative bunch and will teach you about varietal characteristics and regional styles as they circle the room.

And did we mention that, learning aside, the tasting are a great deal? Just $15 buys you a flight of three wines picked from an extensive global list.

Corkbuzz Wine Studio 13 E. 13th St. New York NY 10003 646-873-6071

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