Wine stored in a bottle gets better with age, whereas a message sent in a bottle is the best way to avoid exorbitant stamp prices. Empty your own glass envelopes with today’s Groupon: for $65, you get a wine-tasting class and a winery tour for two at Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue (a $134 value). The class is available at hour intervals between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday nights and every other Saturday night.
Waters Crest owners Jim and Linda Waters reap the benefits of east Long Island’s rich terroir to develop and proffer a variety of small-batch boutique wines. The wine-tasting class, conducted by winemaker Jim Waters, will introduce vintner apprentices to a selection of seven wines that cover a spectrum of reds and whites, paired with a specially selected artisan cheese platter that counterpoints complex drink bouquets with solid textures and an earthy sense of humor. Seated at the marble bar in the tasting room, sippers will explore the topography of Waters Crest’s offerings, which may include the punchy and focused 2007 merlot or the oak-barrel fermented 2008 Private Reserve chardonnay. Jim imparts students with vine-ripened truisms, from the fine points of tasting a full flavor range to the differences between drinking from crystal or glass. After the tasting, brain palates will savor morsels of wine-crafting knowledge on a tour of the winery itself. Run a hand over the wood slats of wine-holding barrels in the private cellar as Jim and sommelier Adam Slater convey the intricacies of wine production, from hand-selecting locally grown grapes to blowing and shaping glass bottles around a cork stopper.