So, you are in the city this weekend.  Not at the beach, not in the Hampton’s.  There are lots of things to do.  Many of them free.  There are always outdoor concerts and street fairs.  But in between, you may need something to drink.  What better way to hydrate with on a hot summer day than with some wine. And yes, even on a summer weekend, you can find wine tastings in the city.

Union Square Wines

Union Square Wines has the best wine tasting program of any wine store I’ve been to or heard about. Whereas most wine store tastings consist of two or three wines, Union Square Wines sets up three to five tables with five to ten wines each.  Plus, at the entrance to the tasting room (at the back of the store), they set you up with a glass, a list of the wines and a pencil to take notes.  And there are water pitchers around the room to rinse your glass and buckets for spitting. You can often taste ten or twenty (or more) wines—it is great for making comparisons and for finding new wines.

Union Square Wines discounts the wines in the tastings if you buy them that day, but I often save my tasting notes for later.  When they have a 30% off sale, I will take a look at my notes from previous tastings and pick up a mixed case.

This Saturday, June 21st from 2:00 pm to 5:00 p.m., they are having a tasting that is focused on the Southern Hemisphere.

Here is their description:

“Join USQ as we embark on a Futbol-fueled quartet of tastings certain to get attendees in the spirit for two things- intenational soccer and world class wine! Throughout the World Cup USQ will feature wines from participating countries for fans to sip whilst taking in the current match. World Cup Wine Party: Southern Hemisphere Edition features the proud nations of Argentina, Australia, and Chile. USQ weekend warrior Joseph SanGiovanni will be taking attendees through delicious wines fashioned from Argentina’s Malbec and Bonarda grape varietals. Gordon Little joins the fray for a boutique look at Australia’s wine country courtesy of Little Peacock Imports. Chile will be represented by T Edward Wines, pouring tasty expressions of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and more!”

Astor Place Wines

If you are at Union Square Wines and still want more wine, it is a short walk to Astor Place Wines. From 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, they will be serving four French wines:  a sparkling and a red from the Jura region and two whites from the Loire Valley:

The four wines:

Crémant du Jura, Zero Dosage, Champ Divin – 2010

Pinot Noir, Champ Divin – 2012

Jasnières “Cuvée du Silex”, Pascal Janvier – 2011

Reuilly “Les Pierres Plates”, Denis Jamain – 2013

Sherry-Lehmann Wines

Sherry-Lehmann Wines (505 Park Avenue @ 59th Street) is a nice wine store with a great selection of serious wines. Their wine tastings are more of the “oh by the way here is a bottle of wine to taste” type. But if you are uptown and want to taste some summer Rose’s, this Friday, June 20th, they are pouring 
Chateau Margui, Rose (Coteaux Varois en Provence), 2013, $23.95 bottle. And if you are in the city the following Friday, June 27th (4-6pm), you can get a taste of the Hamptons with three Rose’s from the Wolffer Estate (Rose, Summer in a Bottle Rose and Grandioso Rose).  You don’t have to go all the way to Sagaponak.

Appellation Wines

If you are hanging out at the High Line this weekend, you can stop by Appellation Wines at 156 Tenth Avenue.  On Saturday, June 21st, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, they will be pouring some summer whites: Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Oregon Chardonnay, and German Riesling.