Wine School

Join us at Charlie Bird every Tuesday for free weekly wine events hosted by award-winning sommeliers on behalf of the Delicious Hospitality Group -- the team behind NYC restaurants Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones, and Legacy Records.

Session #1: Tuscany

Tuscany is a place we all want to go to. The idea of eating pasta, drinking wine, and taking naps on repeat is a sign that you’ve really made it. The Tuscans know that and they are there waiting for you to put on some extra pounds and stain your teeth with any wine that reads Toscana on the label. The two main areas to focus on in Tuscany are: Chianti and Montalcino. Each of those regions focuses on one grape: Sangiovese. Sangiovese is the classic medium-bodied wine. It’s savory, can be a little tart, and should always be consumed with an extra serving of pasta.

Session #2: French Chardonnay

Burgundy is France’s most confusing wine region. It’s one long and gentle rolling hill covered in grapes. White Burgundy or “Bourgogne Blanc” is all about Chardonnay. Within Burgundy, there are over thirty small towns, and each small town consists of many small vineyards. Each of those vineyards has a different name and produces wines with a slightly different taste, even though they grow the same exact grape. Those differences can be attributed to different soils and different amounts of sun. Got it? Well, there are two other areas which we think make great Chardonnay too- Chablis which you may know and the Jura, which is blowing up. The wines all are drastically different and likely you’ll enjoy them all. You should at least.

Session #3: South of Rome

Southern Italy is a special place. It’s like the wild west but with good food, inexpensive wine, and remote beaches. The wines from here are vast in flavor. If we were to summarize them, the whites are salty and light, the reds are big and earthy. The main regions for wine are Campania, Abruzzo, and Sicily.

Session #4: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of our favorite grapes. France is one of our favorite countries. And since we’re experts, we’re telling you that the best Pinot Noir comes from France. Anyone who says differently is essentially saying that New York has better beaches than California. You just sound like someone who spent too much money on their house on Long Island and can’t admit defeat. You’re wrong but I’m sure your house is nice nonetheless. That being said, we still like but don’t always love Pinot from other places. It’s the I love you but I’m not in love with you conversation. You get it.

Session #5: Spanish White

The reason we’re all excited about Spanish white is twofold. First, we get bored at some point and look for something new which grabs our attention. Second, whatever it is that grabs our attention better be delicious and these wines are. For a long time, it would’ve been hard for us to say more than “It’s fine” about almost any white wine from Spain. It’s true though, for a long time the white wines from here were shadowed by the success of its reds. Today, however, it may be a better country for white wine than red. The just fine wines of Spain are still around and do serve a purpose. Like a lot of Italian white wine, they are refreshing and cheap. Great wines for hot days and those moments you’ve convinced yourself to order a plate of sardines despite your better judgment.

Session #6: Island White

There are a lot of great things to be said about the islands of the Mediterranean. Greece, Corsica, Sicily, Sardegna, and the Canary Islands are all bucket list spots to visit and for good reason. The water is crystal clear, full of yachts, stocked with the best seafood, and of course the beautiful people. However, unlike the other vacation spots you drool over on Instagram, these islands also have great wine. Unlike almost everything else you’ll encounter in this part of the world, there is also exceptional value with the wines. That means, you’re getting a deal while you’re drinking and we like everything about that. There are unique differences between the wines on each of the islands and that’s mostly attributed to there being different grapes which have been planted there long before humans were wearing bikinis. We think there are more commonalities or not so it’s safe to say that all of these wines are best when they are white, crisp, salty, never oaky, and should be served cold. Today, we think the best producers are coming out of Sicily, Greece, and Corsica.

Session #7: Rosé

This session we're focusing on Rosé wines from 2017 and 2018. It's not just because the weather's warming up either. We're here to show you why we're excited for these specific Lorenza, Tempier, Boudignon, Stein, Le Pianelle, and Keller bottles.

Session #8: Alto Piemonte

Some of us have better genes than others. Think J-Lo. Both have aged better than most and just like humans, grapes can have better anti-aging genes too. We digress. This lesson is on Nebbiolo, a grape that simply put has better genes than others. It is a grape which many consider being the greatest grape in Italy. Declaring a grape as “great” doesn’t just mean that it tastes better. At a minimum, we think grape greatness is achieved by the potential for it to age, and also having a flavor which is unique to where it is grown. Nebbiolo has both of those attributes and so yes, it is great and J-Lo is too.

Session #9: What wines we don't always trust.

We’re all creatures of habit. That’s really the reason why every restaurant has chicken. We like what we’re familiar with and we are comforted by that trust. Our wine choices are similar and for good reason. Just like food, today we have access to so many new ingredients and flavors that it can be overwhelming. The grapes are hard to pronounce, the labels look crazy, and the Sommelier annoyed you from the second you sat down so you just revert to the Sauvignon Blanc by the glass. We think that’s likely why you’re here today and always the most common experience people have around wine. Here a few whites that people often second guess but since we’re giving them away here, you have to at least try.

Session #10: The Other Wines from The Greatest Producers

Great wine has gotten to be expensive and it’s very unlikely that's ever going to change. However, some of the world’s best producers have recently decided to make a wine which forces that change to actually exist. Many of these producers make additional wines to the ones which got them famous which don’t break the bank.

Session #11: "The World's Best Sommelier"

Arvid Rosengren is one of the most medaled sommeliers in history. He’s like a four-star general for the wine world. He’s won the Best Sommelier of Sweden, Europe, and the whole damn World too. That means he’s smart and we should all trust that the wines he drinks at home have something to say. Even more importantly, he’s a nice guy with very good taste.

Session #12: Chilled Reds

Let’s start off by saying that we all should drink red wine a bit colder than we do today. We won’t give you an exact temperature because let’s be real, you don’t walk around with a thermometer in your pocket and if you do we applaud your commitment to homeostasis but that’s it.

Session #13: Wines with bubbles

Sparkling wines range from some of the least expensive to some of the most expensive wines in the world. In our narrow view, sparkling wine can be broken down into two camps- those from Champagne and those not. Those which aren’t from Champagne can be interesting but are mostly meant to serve as the most refreshing and inexpensive way to start your night or to cure your hangover the next morning. Today, there are producers outside of Champagne who are using the same method of making the wine but simply aren’t in the geographical zone of Champagne. The best versions of these can provide great value and should always be a bit less expensive.

Session #15: Loire Valley

A selection of wines from the Loire Valley in central France along the Loire River and its tributaries. The profiles are distinguished by vineyards, farmland and majestic châteaux. A wine-producing region, it’s known for dry whites such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.

Session #16: Syrah

Syrah is a misunderstood grape. It has earned that though. Maybe more than any other grape, Syrah has a wide range of flavors. Syrah can be a light and tart wine, a massive high-alcohol wine, or just a quiet blending grape. This all depends on what part of the world it is grown and of course what decisions the winemaker chooses are best. Our main areas of focus are Syrah from France and nowadays some solid versions from Northern California.

Session #17: Pretty Good Italian White Wine That Isn’t Pinot Grigio

There’s a world in which Pinot Grigio doesn’t exist any longer. That’s a world we all should look forward to. The reason we have such disdain for Pinot Grigio is because it has monopolized the easy-drinking white wine market for too long. Also, the wines are very likely to be made in a lab and full of chemicals so it’s just not something we should be supporting any longer. Good news, Italy is full of white grapes that you may have never heard of but fill the same purpose Pinot Grigio does. They are inexpensive, thirst-quenching, and really there to just be consumed rather than pondered on. These are wines to just drink. Wines which are pretty good rather than great. Sometimes, pretty good, is exactly what you’re looking for.