Wine Pages

Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist



What will I learn at a WineBaer event?
WineBaer events are not only opportunities to taste wines, but you will also learn about them in the context of the grape variety/varieties, the story of the producers, and the regions where the wine originated. From beginners to advanced participants, everyone at a WineBaer event will learn the basics of wine making, the art of analytical wine tasting, how to be a confident wine consumer, how wines pair best with foods, New World vs. Old World styles, and many other topics which can be explored.

What types of events can I plan with WineBaer?
I have hosted a wide range of events. Some popular choices have been wine dinners, holiday parties, block parties, birthdays, anniversaries, team building for corporations, prospective client meetings, focusing on specific regions and cuisines, or simply educational.

Where are the tastings hosted?
Tastings are hosted at your home, place of business, or any other space you wish to arrange. I do not provide a tasting location.

It starts with a consultation during which you will discuss what type of event you would like to plan. It is helpful to know the wine knowledge of the guests, what topics you would like to discuss, and even which types of wines (and foods) you would like to have.

How much does a wineBaer event cost?
Small Group Casual Tastings for up to 12 people start at $400 (and $750 for up to 24 people); All Corporate Events and Large Group Tasting of 25 people or more start at $35/person and require a minimum guarantee of $875. Tastings typically include at least eight wines, tasting notes, instruction. Glassware can also be provided. Please inquire for pricing for customized corporate events, wine dinners, and other special events.

The pricing above reflects my standard package, pairing personally selected wines with your event. I am not in the business of selling wine to consumers, so I have no special agenda or need to push certain wines. Some customers might wish to draw from their own collections or provide the wine from elsewhere. In that case, I would be your personal sommelier. Other options are available as well – please call or email for details.

Why is it important to pair the wine with food?
To really appreciate both, wine and food need each other. From simple cheeses and nuts, to more substantial fare like meats, or even a full meal, the choice is up to you. The first thing to remember in pairing the two is that you have plenty of choices. There is endless talk about “what is right” to pair with a certain wine. While there is no right or wrong, there are certainly guidelines that will help any pairing. There are almost endless choices, which you can explore.

What about the food?
I would be happy to consult with you on appropriate foods to pair with the wines. Food is not included in any of the standard WineBaer packages, but can be provided at an additional cost. I can also put you in touch with one of the many caterers I've worked with to help design a more complete food and wine event.

I am a champion of wines for the table. So much wine on the market today is made to appeal to and appease the critics, but doesn’t always work with food. I can help you understand the principals for finding and enjoying great food-friendly wines from all around the world.

How much time will a tasting take?
The time depends on how many questions are asked. The more inquisitive the crowd is, the more interesting and involved the event will be for everyone. Typical events run two to three hours.

What is the tone and mood of a WineBaer event?
My goal with all of these events is to demystify wine and make the participants more comfortable with the subject. I encourage a relaxed, casual approach at all of my events (after all, it’s only wine). If required, I can also arrange for a more formal presentation.

What about a private consultation?
I have written restaurant wine lists, stocked new wine shops, and assisted collectors in developing their private cellars. Hourly rates for such services begin at $75/hour.