Thursday, February 28, 2002

Thou Shalt Wine ~ by Janine Trusello

Oh my, another day, another wine tasting! Boy, is my arm getting tired! But, hey, it's a living and with such a calling, I made my way to the Manhattan Wine Seminars, LLC. Seminar "You Have the Wine List, Now What?" on February 28th at the Thelen, Reid, & Priest executive dining room. In such venue I was FORCED (actually quite willingly) to indulge in more vino and delicious nibble-y things! Manhattan Wine Seminars president and Hostess with the Mostest (wine that is), Marlene Rossman, instructed her very captive audience on the basics of wine selection when dining out. Against the "perfect" nighttime backdrop of a beautifully lit midtown-east view (from the 28th floor vantage point), the very animated Marlene divulged the secrets to questions such as: How do I choose a wine with confidence at a dinner? What do I say to the sommelier or waiter? How should I taste the wine? What if the wine needs to be sent back?, etc.

Before, during, and after the top secrets were being revealed during this (thankfully) sit-down seminar, ten different wines were available to sample. Assisting with the wine pouring and information-giving was Manhattan Wine Seminars vice president of marketing, Dianne Berry and sommelier's Amy Kurlander and Vanessa Jacobs. Also available to help "soak up" all of that delicious wine was a variety of cheese, pate, breads and fruit presented by CulinArt executive chef, Robert Lerz, Jr., who not only is the chef for Thelen, Reid, & Priest but is the private chef for Howard Stern.

Some "students" in attendance included Hallmark Entertainment financial analyst Tara McKenna, Boytex, Inc. retail analyst Brian Kleinschmidt, UBS PaineWebber Inc. divisional vice president Loris Eminente and The Plaza's executive meetings manager Maria Pineda.

So, what are these super-duper secrets, you ask? Ah, you must wait and go to one of the seminars! However, I will divulge an interesting fact: women are better tasters of wine than men. This might explain why there were four women running the event! The number one piece of advice handed out by Marlene was, "Trust your taste buds!" Meaning if you like it, then it's okay. So with that, happy tasting!