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Wine Pairing for your Romantic Evening

Wine Pairing for your Romantic Evening

Leona Taylor | Chef's Blade

If choosing wine on a date is a daunting experience, here are a couple of tips to help you navigate the wine list, while charting a course for romance. While some may wish to cram as much wine encyclopedia knowledge in as possible, the most important clues will come from your date, so don’t waste too much time on studying and never, ever fake. Being a good listener will not only help you to make a better wine selection it will also be more likely to endear someone to your approach. As with anything being yourself and admitting some novice is more likely to put your date at ease than acting like a know it all – especially when it comes to wine.

Start by asking questions and allowing your date to participate in the selection experience. Some good questions to ask may be basic but telling, such as: “Do you enjoy wine?” and “What types of wines do you usually enjoy?”or, “Do you prefer red or white wines?”. More telling questions such as, “What is your favorite wine region?” or “Favorite varietal?” may be reserved for those who appear more wine savvy. Often you may find that your date enjoys sharing his or her own wine knowledge with other people, or in contrast, those who prefer not to drink wine at all. Let the conversation tell you where to go and be confident that you’ll arrive at a conclusion together. Your dates reaction to wine questions should leave several clues. Brushing up on some basic flavor profile terminology can arm you with the right types of questions. Knowing for example which wines tend to be aged with oak, or sticking to a range in alcohol levels can be a helpful head start. Below are a few basic truths about wine varietals (that’s the type of grape) and their traditional flavor profile(s) and pairings:

Sparkling Wines and Champagne:

Cava, Prosecco, sparkling wines, and Champagne are all great choices for a first glass on date night, with Champagne usually being the most elegant (and the most expensive). Enlist the assistance of a sommelier during this time whenever possible and expect to share your ideas on menu selection to aid them in pairing with your first or next course.