Okay, so you couldn't shell out the cash for the Grand Tasting, but you still want to taste and learn about wines. We're right there with you, so we've found a few wine events that are more reasonably priced:
Michael's Restaurant holds "Five at Five Fridays." Every Friday at 5 pm, sommeliers Richard Bill and L.A. Estilow will choose five wines and offer an unlimited five glass flight for one hour for $30. No reservations are needed.
24 W 55th Street, (212) 767-0555
Tomorrow night from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Vino-Versity at Divine Bar West is holding a tasting of South American Wines for $35 in advance and $45 tickets at the door if available. If you miss the chance to taste wines from Chile, Argentina and Urugay, you can visit their site for a schedule of future events.
236 West 54th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue, (212) 265-WINE
Otto Enoteca Pizzeria holds wine classes every Sunday for $35. They offer Intro to Italian Wines as well as specialized classes highlighting a particular region or type of wine. Their next class, on November 28th, features the wines of Friuli. Visit their site for the full schedule.
One Fifth Avenue at 8th Street, (212) 995-9559
And for all you Burgundy fans out there, the Burgundy Wine Company holds monthly winemaker tastings for $20. The next event, on December 2nd features Mounir Saouma, founder of the Burgundy negociant firm Lucien Le Moine. Reservations are required. The Burgundy Wine Company also holds free tastings during the week from 5PM-7PM and from 11AM-7PM on Saturdays.
143 West 26th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, (212) 691-9092
Check in at your local wine store as well -- many offer free tastings at least once a week. No reason that we can't experience good wine and still have money left over for a holiday gift or two.