When my boss sent out the email for the 2016 holiday party, there was a detailed itinerary but the only word that jumped out at me was “surprise.”
I’m not the biggest fan of surprises.
After breakfast and the Secret Santa gift exchange, el jefe started handing out metro cards because the subway was our chariot for this event. Our CEO was in town from the U.K. for our shindig- he’s always fun. Many of us learned that was his first time on the subway: the stereotypical subway muggings scene from those 80s movies came to his mind.
El jefe had a cash prize for the first person to figure out where we were going. We took the subway from midtown to the village, then proceeded to walk to who knew where. I began reading every awning I spotted- one of them had to be our destination.
Astor Wines & Spirits: I won $20!
El jefe planned a wine tasting class for us. It’s a good thing I had a huge bagel before leaving the office, as we were greeted at the door with glasses of champagne and that first glass wasn’t my last glass.
There was a spread of fresh fruit and an assortment of really nice cheeses and meats to indulge in while we were learning and tasting the differences between Old World wines and New World wines.
What we learned from wine tasting at Astor Wines & Spirits:
- the term Old World is referring to wines made in countries that are considered the birthplaces of wine, Europe and the Middle East.
- New World countries include: the U.S., New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Australia and South Africa.
- New World wines come from countries that are in hotter climates, which can cause wines from the New World to be fuller bodied and have bolder fruit flavors.
- New World wines tend to have a higher alcohol content.
- Aging wine in an oak barrel can give the wine a vanilla taste
- White wine can be made from red grapes once they’re peeled
- “Wine legs”, streaks that run down the inside of the glass when you move the wine around, can be used to show how much alcohol is in the wine
After our class, lunch was a short walk away at Bar Primi. Fresh bread with olive oil, gigantic meatballs, beautiful olives, and lots of fresh pasta.
Lunch was followed by bar hopping. The first stop was Barcade for some Street Fighter and PacMan. Next stop was Kingston. Allegedly, they’re inspired by Kingston, Jamaica, but nothing gave off that vibe: I made sure they at least played some reggae music. I tapped out after that: I had been drinking since breakfast*, I was running out of fingers to count my intake, and I wasn’t one of the people who thought to take a vacation day after.
El jefe summoned my uber and I melted into the backseat. Forever grateful for el jefe’s uber account. I’m excited to see what we do next year!
*I failed to mention we had mimosas with our bagels at breakfast. I remember how much of a drinker I wasn’t just a short while ago.