Which Fall Tastings Are Worthwhile?

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Photo: Jed Egan

Fall is our favorite season in New York, in no small part because of the numerous tasting events to attend. We've compiled a list of the ones we'd like to hit, if only we had more time and money. Find the right event for you from among sweet and savory tastings, wine-soaked presentations, and happenings for the whole family. Bulk up for winter!

Event: Grand Central Oyster Frenzy
When: October 3, noon to 6 p.m.
Where: Grand Central Oyster Bar
How Much: Oysters start at $2 apiece, and beer at $5.75. A special “Frenzy Menu” is priced à la carte.
Why It's Worth It: Watch professionals tear through bivalves in the “professional oyster shucking championships,” followed by a competitive “slurp off” by amateurs. Top Chef alum Fabio Trabocchi will do a demo.

Event: Chile Pepper Fiesta
When: October 3, noon
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
How Much: Free with admission ($8 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12).
Why It's Worth It: See how chefs from different culinary traditions make use of the chile pepper, including Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab and Rick and Michael Mast of Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Event: Fort Greene Park Conservancy Portfolio Wine Tasting Fundraiser
When: October 5, 6 p.m.
Where: Irondale Center, 85 S. Oxford St., nr. Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene, Brooklyn
How Much: General admission is $80 in advance or $90 at the door; $150 for VIP access.
Why It's Worth It: Taste over 100 international wines paired with cheese, charcuterie, and hors d’oeuvres. VIPs take a wine-tasting class and get “priorty access” (line-cutting?) to the wines.

Event: New York City Wine and Food Festival
When: October 8–11
Where: Meatpacking district
How Much: Some events are as little as $10; the Grand Tastings are $150. Purchase tickets here.
Why It's Worth It: Most of the big-ticket items are sold out, but you can still snag spots to events like the Grand Tastings, My First Crush: Make Your Own Wine ($110), Charcuterie 101 ($45), or Murray’s Cheese and Olive Oil Tasting ($75).

Event: Columbus Day Wine Down
When: October 12, 6 p.m.
Where: Astra, 979 Third Ave., fourteenth floor
How Much: Tickets are $50 in advance, no tickets sold at the door. Use discount code MERLOT to get $10 off.
Why It's Worth It: The event will feature American wines from both traditional wine-producing regions and some up-and-coming areas. Food is supervised by Charlie Palmer.

Event: City Harvest Bid Against Hunger
When: October 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.
How Much: Tickets for this tasting and fund-raiser start at $250 and go as high as $500 for VIP access.
Why It's Worth It: This is one of the city’s premier tasting events. Participating restaurants include Convivio, Blue Hill, and Le Bernardin.

Event: Brooklyn Eats
When: October 27, 6 p.m.
Where: Stage 6 at Steiner Studios, 15 Washington Ave., Brooklyn Navy Yard
How Much: Tickets are $110 in advance and $125 at the door.
Why It's Worth It: Sample food from all over the borough, including Buttermilk Channel and Bussaco.

Event: Zachys Annual Fall Food & Wine Extravaganza
When: October 27, 6 p.m.
Where: The Lighthouse, Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers
How Much: $95. Call 800-723-0241 or e-mail your ticket request.
Why It's Worth It: A Scarsdale wine store brings together more than 75 winemakers, including Fonseca, Taittinger, and Silver Oak.

Event: Taste of Greenmarket
When: October 28, 7 p.m.
Where: Studio 450, 450 W. 31st St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $150 in advance, or $175 at the door; get in an hour early with VIP tickets for $300.
Why It's Worth It: Greenmarket-inspired dishes prepared by April Bloomfield, Aaron Sanchez, Dan Barber, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Event: The Chocolate Show
When: October 30–November 1
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.
How Much: Buy tickets for $28 in advance or $30 at the door. Kids under 5 are free, and up to two kids ages 5 to 12 can enter with one adult. Any additional child is $8.
Why It's Worth It: This is a rare trade show that’s open to the public. See and sample chocolate from all over the world.

Event: New York Taste
When: November 2, 7 p.m.
Where: Skylight, 275 Hudson St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $175, or $250 for the VIP preview.
Why It's Worth It: New York’s annual event will include food from Aldea, Corton, Marea, Locanda Verde, and many more. View a slideshow of last year’s spread.

Event: Cook. Eat. Drink. Live.
When: November 6–8
Where: The Tunnel/La Venue, 608 W. 28th St.
How Much: Buy general-admission tickets for $65.
Why It's Worth It: Joey Campanaro, Eric Hara, Bill Telepan, Ted Allen, and several other name chefs will do demos. Try samples from SD26, Rouge Tomate, BiCE, and many more.