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Posted on Sep 7, 2015

3 Quick Tips on How to Order Wine on a Date

3 Quick Tips on How to Order Wine on a Date

Have you ever felt lost the first time a server shows you the bottle of wine at a restaurant? If you’re like most dudes I know, you probably are, because no one ever focused on teaching this stuff. So, I made it my personal mission to find out and share an easy guide on the how’s and why’s of first-time restaurant wine ordering, for you to sail right to that goodnight kiss.

One study concluded that 9 out of 10 women decide to break things off with a guy just after the first date because he acted like a newbie while ordering wine. Ha-ha, just kidding. But, there’s a shred of truth in that. First impressions mean the world to us guys, and ordering the right bottle of wine at dinner is our opening salvo. Doing it right can make you feel like a champion, setting the stage for a fiery evening that unfolds suavely. Failing to do so can end the night with a huge facepalm.

Do Your Homework

Simply ordering a wine at a restaurant might not be so bad if only you weren’t put on the spot. Ease the pressure by knowing as much as you can beforehand. Spend time making a reservation during off-peak hours, so the servers have time to answer your questions about the wine list. You can even buy red wine online, taste it for study, or even bring it with you on your date.

red wine

Nothing is worse than showing up at a restaurant only to realize that they don’t have a wine collection or even a liquor license. You may also check the website to know their wine list before heading off. If you selected beforehand, make sure to mention it when you make a reservation. This is because online listing can get outdated or some wines are only available in certain seasons.

Get and Read the Wine List

A wine list should include the price, the producer, the grape variety as well as the region and the vintage for every wine. There are also a number on the wine list, so you don’t sound like a fool when pronouncing their names while ordering. Wines that are labeled NV are nonvintage, which means they are a blend of a variety of wines. Wine snobs will shun nonvintage wines, but never rule them out – they taste fantastic too! They are made by wine producers for the sake of consistency, meaning they are created during a climatically shaky year.

How much should you spend?

Instinct dictates that you choose a wine based on price. Don’t. This has nothing to do with being a cheapskate, since many affordably priced wines are indeed good quality blends. Likewise, it’s not automatic that a bottle of expensive wine will go well with your food simply because of its price.

red wine list

Although there is a formula to determine how much you should spend on wine,  you can spend what you feel comfortable with, instead of just pleasing the lady (she’ll know anyway.) One covert reasons why you have to make two or three choices it to let the server know what your price range is. Even if they don’t recommend the ones you like, they’ll know what you’re willing to spend.

Once you have selected the perfect bottle of wine, then you’re in the clear. Heck, you did it! After the first and second rituals of ordering wine at a restaurant, you’ll get a feel for the whole process. Soon, selecting a bottle of wine for your date will be as second nature to ordering your favorite steak. Have fun!


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Images credit (under CC) by order:    Andy RennieRoger W