Dazzle your date this valentine’s day by knowing your wine, or at least knowing enough to get by. Let’s face it, we can’t all be wine aficionados. And, just because you aren’t a wine expert, doesn’t mean you can’t be a wine lover or even just a wine passive-enjoyer. But as you make your reservations for Valentine’s Day, plan on at least being a wine survivor.
Here are a few simple wine tips and tricks to not fumble your date this weekend:
Don’t order the second cheapest bottle of wine.
We know the strategy: you assume the cheapest bottle of wine is terrible and you also don’t want to appear cheap…so you go for the second cheapest. Tamara from Food52 wrote a great article about the flaws of this practice, but let us summarize and chime in for a moment.
That second cheapest bottle probably has the highest mark-up on the menu. It’s no surprise that restaurateurs mark-up wine bottles, but few people realize that the pricier the bottle, the less the restaurant had to mark it up to make a margin of profit.
So in the end, you’re made a sucker and, let’s be honest, you still come off as cheap.
Your server will be happy to point you in the direction of a wine you actually want and one that is within your budget. Be guided towards something new. Try an un-oaked wine. Try a wine on tap. Tell your server what you have a taste for instead of just blindly selecting something based on price and region.
Don’t sniff the cork
It isn’t going to tell you anything about the wine except whether or not the bottle was properly stored…and you probably didn’t even know that. If you want to know if your wine is flawed, smell the wine itself. If you don’t know wine, you may not be able to sense any flaws, but you’ll look smarter than if you sniffed the cork.
Check the label
Valentine’s Day is busy. Make sure your server has given you the correct vineyard and vintage you ordered. You don’t want to be charged for a wine you didn’t enjoy.
Ask your date what they want
Everybody has different wine tastes or motivators when it comes to choosing a beverage. Your date may want something adventurous or fancy or perhaps something more environmentally friendly like a wine that was fermented in stainless steel barrels versus oak. Even more, your date may know more about wine than you! Never miss an opportunity to be educated.
Now, go forth and enjoy your Valentwine’s Day with care and class!