10 Can’t Miss Food & Drink Events in NYC this January

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Photo: Stefano Ravalli

By Matt Mingle

January has arrived, and that means another month of amazing food and drink in the City That Never Sleeps. Beyond restaurants and bars, there’s a whole world out there of pre-planned events where you don’t have to choose one or two menu items to indulge in. Instead, these events provide guests a range of drinks and dishes to taste. What better way to experience all the diversity and creativity of the greatest city in the world?

Cheese & Wine for Beginners

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January 6 – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – $38
Court Tree Collective, 371 Court Street, Brooklyn

In this guided cheese tasting, you’ll cover all the basics – from cheesemaking and history, to the science of taste and the art of presentation. You will cover all this while sampling 8 phenomenal cheeses that represent the best of their region and style. Be ready to delight and impress your friends with your newfound cheese mastery! Wine will be provided – for educational purposes, of course. After this informal, informative seminar, you’ll never be afraid of the fancy cheese shop again!

Classic Wines of Spain & Portugal

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January 9 – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – $90
NYC Wine Company, 167 West 23rd St. (at 7th Ave), New York

Spain alone easily fills an evening, yet Portugal, its neighbor, is equally deserving of attention. Here you will taste many full-bodied wines made from varieties both familiar and unknown.  Each region has their own specialty. Rioja creates smoky, earthy, subtle reds with the Tempranillo grape, while the Priorat region makes rich, dense, powerful reds from the Garnacha variety. The Ribera del Duero also employs the Tempranillo grape, yielding wines bigger and more powerful than those of Rioja. And this is just a few of the reds you will try.

Anfora Beverage Class Series: Amphorae-Aged Wines

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January 10 – 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM – $55
Anfora, 34 8th Avenue, New York

Join Anfora as co-owner Joe Campanale gives a tour of the best examples of these wines that are not only ancient but also avant garde. Amphorae were clay vessels used to ferment, store, and transport wine in ancient Greece and Rome. Then sometime after the fall of the Roman empire the use of Amphora for winemaking came to a complete stop in the Western World. Today there is a resurgence of amphora-aging among some winemakers, giving us a glimpse into what the wines of the ancients might have tasted like. This is a one-of-a-kind sampling of unique wines that is essential for the true aficionado.

Pinot Days Winemakers “Table Hop” Dinner at City Winery

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January 17 – 7:00PM to 10:30PM – $100
City Winery, 154 Varick Street (at Vandam st), New York

Eighteen wines, six winemakers, and an incredible one-night only Mediterranean-inspired menu!  Pinot Days joins forces with City Winery to offer you this spectacular dinner specially designed to highlight pinot noir’s great stylistic versatility and pairing ability. Chef Andres Barrera will offer starters to enjoy with wines from four pinot producers in a walk-about style, and then a three-course meal to remember, each course paired with two pinots from each producer. Enjoy this incredible, pinot-paired dinner and the colorful, gifted winemakers who create them. The winemakers will move seats with every course so that they are able to share their stories with attendees.

Good Spirits: The First Ever Brooklyn Edition

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January 22 – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn – $50

The Invisible Dog Art Center hosts Good Spirits: featuring pairings of acclaimed spirits brands with celebrated local restaurants for an unforgettable evening. Good Spirits has become one of the most popular cures around for cases of cabin fever, one that is sure to delight your taste buds, and give you the boost you need to make it through the rest of the winter. Mirrored after one of Edible Manhattan’s most successful events, Good Spirits Manhattan, Good Spirits Brooklyn will take place on Thursday, January 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Invisible Dog Art Center – an 1800s factory building nestled in Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival

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January 24 – 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM – $99 – $199
The Tunnel, 608 West 28th St (at 11th Ave), New York

Get ready to enjoy all the pleasures that true Southerners live by – Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque, Bacon, and Bluegrass!  It’s the sixth installment of Chelsea’s own down-home, Southern-fried, good time. It’s a great day of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE sampling of beer and bourbon.

Cochon555: 5 Chefs, 5 Pigs, 5 Winemakers

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January 25 – 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM – $125 – $200
Andaz 5th Avenue, 485 5th Ave, New York

A one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs while searching for the best bite of the day. The country’s most talked about culinary competition returns to New York City on Jan. 25. Attendees of this one-of-a-kind culinary competition embark on a the journey to the new hyper-local culinary landscape, one whole pig at a time. The tour is aligned with the modern-day good food movement — notable chefs, barrier-breaking women, artist-like butchers, spirited bartenders, top winemakers, brewers, distillers and brazen pastry talent working together to prepare an epic feast celebrating responsible family farming. Going on its seventh year, Cochon 555 is regarded as the nation’s most flavorful culinary event, from entry to exit, each bite is specially designed to win over the public.

Asian Whiskies and Korean Dining at The Grain

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January 25 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – $88
The Grain, 893 Broadway (at 19th st), New York

The Whiskey Roundtable will serve up six unique whiskies — from Japan’s famed Nikka Distillery to Taiwan’s rising star, Kavalan Distillery — as well as Korean soul food from The Grain.

About the Grain Whiskey Bar:

A speakeasy in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron district, located in the lounge at Barn Joo restaurant, The Grain features a wide range of American whiskies- covering bourbons, rye, as well as a comprehensive selection of American craft whisky, and whiskies from Asia.

Great Wines of Italy: A Tasting Showcase

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January 26 – 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM – $125 – $195
IAC Building, 555 W 18th Street, New York

James Suckling and Zachys are proud to present Great Wines of Italy to showcase the best this top wine-producing country has to offer. This event is your unique opportunity to taste the wines and meet the producers from 80 outstanding Italian wineries. The walk-around tasting will also feature an elaborate cheese selection, a refreshing sparkling wine bar, and music from award-winning recording artists curated by Rob Moose. With each winery presenting two wines, the selection is guaranteed to be superb; all wines being poured have been hand-picked by internationally acclaimed wine critic James Suckling and awarded 90 points or more. Fantastic examples of 2010 Brunello will also be available – a vintage not to miss!

NYC Wine Company: 14 Wines, 7 Cheeses, 1 Night

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January 31 – 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM – $90
NYC Wine Company, 167 West 23rd Street, New York

A veritable social event, replete with an around-the-world tasting of wine and cheese! Rather than focus on one particular country or theme, wines will be featured from around the globe, with many from up-and-coming areas such as South Africa, South America, Australia, Spain, and New Zealand. In turn, each pair is mated to a specific cheese, chosen for its compatibility with the wines, all sourced from Murray’s Cheese Shop, one of the best purveyors in the country. Ultimately, tasting wines in pairs helps to demonstrate what makes wines different from one another, while also helping you discover your own preferences. This event will highlight the grapes used, the climate, and the production method for each wine served. In addition, you’ll discuss how to find wines similar to the ones tasted, thus allowing you to discover new bottles, suited to your specific palate, every day of the week.

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