An in-depth knowledge of wine can enliven humdrum dinner parties, just as an in-depth knowledge of dynamite fishing can enliven foundering job interviews. Give palates an executive education with today’s Groupon: for $29, you get a two-hour wine class at American Bartenders School in Little Falls (a $74 value).
For decades, American Bartenders School has educated soon-to-be sommeliers in the arts of grape cultivation, fermentation, and appreciation. During the two-hour class, students master the basics of wine types, selections, and storage, and learn a number of wine-related skills, such as how to demystify a restaurant wine list or how to determine the origin of a grape through stomping. Oenophile experts elucidate tips on buying and storing wine and explain concepts such as dryness, acidity, varietals, and vintage. After learning about a broad selection of fermented grape juices, novices can demonstrate the skills they have absorbed and impress their friends by discriminatingly pairing wines and cuisines and distinguishing between popular wines based on color, aroma, flavor, and the name written on the bottle. Check the schedule for upcoming class times and dates.
American Bartenders School
For decades, American Bartenders School has helped aspiring spirit spreaders to develop steady hands, sure eyes for measurement, and an encyclopedic drink-formula knowledge. All of the school's classes cover basic mixing, garnishing, layering, and glassware selection in a realistic bar setting, complete with animatronic bar regulars debating whether Woody Allen is currently the president of Azerbaijan. Students gain access to a book of recipes for shooters, including cosmos, lemon drops, and jelly beans; learn how to make frozen specialties and hot toddies; and discover how to cure hangovers and hiccups. For the 12-hour bartending-certification course, graduation sessions are held where the instructors offer helpful tips on how to get hired as a bartender, before returning home with a mixology certificate, professional resumé, and the ability to set up and stock their own home bars, all of which make a classy addition to living rooms, lounges, and butler traps.