Over the weekend my friend, we’ll call her Z, and I attended a wine class. We had signed up for it over a month ago and had really been looking forward to it; what better way to spend a brisk November afternoon then to learn about wine with one of your closest girlfriends and be warmed by it. We had thoughts of coming out of the class slightly tipsy and then of continuing out festivities into the evening. We would be onto our nightcap while everyone else was just starting their night. Little did we know however, that things were not going to go exactly as planned.

As I hauled my ass into Manhattan from Queens my friend impatiently tried to hail a cab from the east side. Despite the fact that I got into Penn Station about thirty minutes before the class was going to start and it was only a few blocks away, I took a shopping detour and then had to rush down through claustrophobic sidewalks to get there. Z and I try to make it to places early but we always end up comedically rushing to get anywhere on time.

We got to the class about five minutes late but luckily, there was only a handful of people there and a long list, so the instructor informed us that it would be another fifteen minutes before the class started. We found a spot away from the rest of the people and after playing musical chairs to get the ones that were the least uncomfortable, we hunkered down with lowered voices to get a little girl talk in. The only thing that was missing of course was the wine.

About twenty minutes later, after more people had shown up, the instructor came up to the front of the room and said that he was going to begin. The first thing that he told us was that there wasn’t going to be any tastings. I think all of us probably looked at him in shock. What did he mean no tastings? Was he serious? he went on to clarify that although we were going to be discussing wine and learning the basics, we would not in fact be drinking any. He should have put that in his course description, because I doubt that that many people would have signed up for a Saturday afternoon class with the knowledge that there wasn’t going to be any wine. I mean, how can you actually learn about wine without tasting it. Z and I looked at each other, each giving the other the let’s-get-out-of-here eyes, we even turned and spoke to a few of our neighbors and asked if they knew that there was not going to be any wine, and they were just as shocked.

During the beginning, Z and I kept looking at each other, wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We were sort of half paying attention and then we got into it. It turned out that it wasn’t so bad. It would have been nice to actually taste wine too and we weren’t going to pretend to understand why there wasn’t any when the class had, after all, not been free, but we ended up having a decent time.

More than half of what he had been saying, I realized that I knew…an old friend of mine from high school and junior high is an assistant sommelier now, so, he must have taught me more than I thought. I know that I’m going to sound a bit pretentious when I say this (my uncle’s words, by the way, which I had to laugh at), but I liked the class more, knowing that I knew most of what he was saying. It’s silly I know, but true.

After the class, Z and I were both starving, so we set out to find something to eat, and wine. We had walked halfway across town when we decided to walk back towards the direction where we had just come from and go to this cute little irish Pub right near Penn Station. It’s the spot that I used to go to with my aunt for burgers and wine. They have delicious burgers and fries there, and I believe that if a place does not have good fries, then you just simply cannot have burgers there.

Before we even decided upon the food, we b-lined it for the wine list. Since we hadn’t actually tasted any wine, it was only fair that we test out out new found obnoxious wine skills on these unsuspecting victims. Z picked out an ’06 Bordeaux and, because it was French wine, I was satisfied with the choice. We told the waitress about our now infamous wine class and she didn’t mind our obnoxious behavior at all. Needless to say, the Bordeaux turned out to be fabulous. I love a good Bordeaux. Actually, I love French wine in general. Oh, and the food was really good too. By a quarter after seven, we were out of that restaurant and onto our nightcap.

What we learned fromm all of this? Just because you sign up for a wine class, don’t expect there to definitely be wine. Also, Z and I can pick out an awesome bottle.

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