Most restaurants offer a baffling selection of wines at varying prices and navigating the options can be tricky for the uninitiated. Whether you’re dating an English lady, an American gal or one of the many beautiful Russian women out there, nothing sours a date faster than picking a bad wine. Nobody is expecting you to become a connoisseur overnight - and the idea of the evening is to get to know your date, not to show off - and so the following simple guide will help you to avoid embarrassment and net you that all-important second date.
Choosing Your Wine
First and foremost, don’t forget to ask your date about her preferences - if she’s a fan of a full-bodied red, she won’t thank you for selecting a sparkling white without consulting with her. If your date does not have a preference, don’t be afraid to ask the sommelier for a recommendation - it is, after all, what he’s there for. A good sommelier will recommend a wine to suit your tastes and to complement the food that you are ordering.
Your Wine Budget
A quick glance at the restaurant’s wine list will usually show options for white, red, rose and sparkling wines at ascending prices. Prices will vary depending on the country you are in; for example, a good quality Rioja will be much more expensive in the USA than it is in Europe. Although there’s often not a great deal of difference between a $100 Chablis and a $200 one, the same cannot be said for cheaper brands - a super cheap wine will usually taste like one and will not impress. Statistics show that many men think it is ‘safe’ to order the second cheapest option on a wine list. Unfortunately, some sneaky restaurants are aware of this and so place an inferior wine at this price point. It’s a good idea to check out the restaurant’s pricing before the date in order to set your budget and, a good rule of thumb is to order the most expensive wine that you can afford.
When your sommelier brings your wine to your table, he will expect you to approve it before pouring. Again, you’re not there to show off but, this is an important ritual which must be observed. First, check to make sure that the bottle of wine delivered is the one that you ordered. Next, take a look at the cork to make sure that there is no wine staining on it which can indicate that it was not properly sealed. Finally, your sommelier will pour a small amount of wine into a glass for you to taste. Once you’re satisfied, you may ask the sommelier to go ahead and pour for yourself and your date and then relax and enjoy your evening.