The arctic chill of the polar vortex has left the city, but we’ve still got another 70 days before spring. If you’re in need of a fun, informative indoor activity, consider attending the Fifth Annual NYC Winter Wine Festival at the Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway, 212-930-1950) in Times Square on Saturday, February 8, 2014, for which $79 tickets are on sale now. (In the final two weeks before the event, the price rises to $89.) There are two sessions: afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. and evening from 8 to 11 p.m.
One of our favorite bottle shops, Vintry Fine Wines — nestled between Tribeca and Battery Park City — will hand-select 250+ wines for the tasting. If hunger pangs strike or you just need to pad your stomach to accommodate all that wine, indulge in a complementary (and complimentary) array of pastas, artisan breads, cheeses, and hors d’oeuvres plus samples from area artisan food companies. Strains of live jazz will fill the air from performances during each tasting session given by 2013 Smooth Jazz Keyboardist of the Year Brian Simpson and his band.
Don’t bother bringing a spare pencil or notepad either. The growing utilization of technology at wine festivals continues at the Winter Wine Fest: In order for attendees to easily recollect their favorite wines, guests will be able to utilize Winevento, a free iPhone app that lets users rate, favorite, save, and share wines at the event. Don’t fret if you can’t download the app in advance: the Android version will be released at the February 8 festival. WiFi access will be available so that attendees can download and use the app, and screens throughout the venue will publish a live cheat sheet of other attendees’ top-rated wines in real time, allowing you to see which wines fellow drinkers prefer during the doldrums of February.