Now that we finally are defrosted from months of living under the snow, it’s time to start planning all the wonderful ways to get outdoors again. One option is through a wine tour! Pair Wine Tours offers three New York City neighborhood wine tours with options located in Hell’s Kitchen, The Lower East Side or Hoboken. Guests will visit two restaurants and one wine shop while enjoying delicious bites and learning everything you’d ever wanted to know about wine from a hands-on sommelier!
Pair Wine Tours was created by Wine Ambassador Keir Carter. He's worked under accomplished chefs such as Bobby Flay and was also responsible for opening and training all the front of the house staff at Justin Timberlake's Southern Hospitality BBQ. Carter is now passionate about sharing food and wine pairing at various locations throughout the city. He says his tours are, "Wine school for people who prefer class trips!"
While each location has its perks, all tours include a two-hour wine and restaurant tour and are kept intimate, maxing out at twelve participants. At each stop, you’ll taste and learn from two wines for a total of six wines! The dedicated sommelier will educate you on each wine as you enjoy previously chosen bites for optimal pairing. Depending on the season, price per ticket can go for as low as $45 per person!
I attended the Hell’s Kitchen tour on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with three of my friends. One of the friends I went with, Marti Reiff, 27, read about Pair Wine Tours on Groupon. “I thought it was a good deal for the value. I also wanted to learn more about different wines and what foods to pair them with.”
The day of the tour, we met our group at a big table in the back of a Mexican restaurant called Tacuba Cantina. Carter had everyone introduce themselves and then began teaching blind tasting techniques paired with guac. “I remember starting at a Mexican restaurant, which I found interesting because I never considered pairing wines with guacamole and other Mexican flavors,” says Reiff. We then all walked a few blocks to the next restaurant, a Greek spot called Uncle Nick’s Greek Cuisine for more pairings. For the final stop, we went to Carter’s favor wine shop called Grand Cru Wines and Spirits where were offered a discount on any purchase. “The sommelier was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He even stayed after the tour to help us pick out wines similar to the ones we tried throughout the day to bring home,” says Reiff. Following the event, Carter emailed attendees the full list of wines he served so that we didn’t have to remember ourselves.
After learning so much from the sommelier, I was able to up my wine game to a new level in just one afternoon! “The tour was insightful, full of many good food and wines, and most importantly it was a super fun activity for a summer afternoon in the city,” says Reiff.
The Pair Wine Tours was such a fun way to meet new people and spend the day with friends that I even bought tickets for my parents and their friends, so they could also attend! Private events can also be booked for bachelorettes, birthdays, corporate team building or any occasion.
Sip, savor and enjoy learning about wine by having as much fun learning it as you do when you're drinking it!