Don't you just love when you find out about a series of ongoing events that you can attend free of charge, without a reservation, in a centrally located establishment, where you can taste (and by taste I mean get pretty tipsy off of) about four dozen different alcoholic beverages made from grapes, sometimes sample food and then purchase said beverages at a discounted price? Well, I do. If you do too, I highly suggest visiting Union Square Wines for one of their future Saturday wine tasting events.
I popped in to the fairly large wine shop on the NW corner of 13th Street and 4th Avenue last Saturday afternoon for their Spanish Wine and Tapas Party with a couple of USW veteran friends. It's rare for me to turn down a free tasting so off I went, half expecting to be there for maybe half hour then find some cool coffee shop nearby and stay out of the rain. The store itself is neatly laid out with wines from all over the world, an exclusive tasting room up front where members can enjoy samples of some elite wines whenever tickles their fancy, and a bar area in the back where a good number of staff members were curating the tasting.
Even as a recently discovered oenophile (I don't claim to be an expert, but I have gotten know bit of terminology) I was lost in the Spanish descriptions and the Spanish names of the different grapes. So I was happy to just grab a glass and follow the herd. All said and done, we probably walked out of there after tasting at least 20 different wines. The selection ranged from sparkling whites, oaked whites and roses (very unique), smoky reds which tasted like a bbq in a bottle, and some fruity reds. Pricing on the bottles was very affordable, from about $10-$40 on average. I ended up purchasing one of the oaked roses, and if you know me, you know I'm sort of finicky on the rose side, so that was definitely some yummy stuff I tried. Since we got there on around 3:45, they were out of food, but word has it some great tapas samples were being circulated.
If you make a purchase, you are eligible to join USW as a member. You get a fancy card and everything. Basically, it's a point system. They start you off with 500 courtesy points and you get about 10 points per dollar spent every time you buy. You can spend the points in that elite tasting room previously mentioned, where they sometimes offer wines sold at more than $100 a bottle.
The next advertised event is for this Saturday from 2-5, the USQ's BLT Fest 2010: The Summer Series Final. They'll be pouring an assortment of different wines along with some good ole bacon, lettuce and tomato.I would get there closer to the 2 side so as to be able to snag some food. If you can't make it this weekend, keep checking the website all year long for some awesome looking ways to get drunk for free, I mean ways to be classy and refined. I'll definitely be back!