Dummy's Guide to Ordering First Date Wine
George Krumov | Chef's Blade
First dates are very fragile affairs. They are about two individuals testing the waters to decide if they are compatible enough or if it is worthwhile spending your gunpowder in a relationship with the other person. On a first date you would probably have many things to worry about, but if I were you I would certainly make sure that ordering wine is not one of them.
Why would you bother ordering wine if you don’t know anything about it? That’s a good question.
The great thing about ordering wine on a date is that one bottle is normally about four and a half glasses and can be elegantly shared by two people without anybody getting to an awkward intoxication point. You should find something in common and the wine order gives you this opportunity right from the start. The other good aspect of ordering a bottle of wine is that you can show some good manners while refilling your date’s glass.
However, there are certain things you should know before ordering wine on a first date.
Call the restaurant in advance and ask for a recommendation. Ask for their daily specials, which light entrées they have on the menu, which wine goes well with them, and any other kind of information that might be useful to you. Request a nice table for a first date, whatever that means to you. Hint: Make sure you don’t call during service time in order to get better attention.
First, you need to decide what kind of wine you want: White, red, rosé or sparkling. This is perhaps the most important decision besides, of course, how much you can afford to pay for a bottle of wine. As a rule of thumb, it is harder to select a good red wine. As a result, when you have no clue about your date’s wine preference it may be wise to steer clear of the red wine section. If she (or he) has not acquired a taste for any specific type of wine, then you should certainly order a rosé or white wine. Steer clear of bone-dry whites or very sweet ones.
Sparkling wine can make you appear a little Puff Daddy (or is it P. Diddy now?) and if you go for a cheaper version, like a cheap puff, so this is usually best avoided.
A rather important thing to remember: Don’t be afraid to refuse a wine after tasting it.
How much are you willing to spend? Remember, more money doesn’t always mean more quality. On the other hand you don’t want to appear cheap, so stay away from both ends of the price range. If you want to impress, look for something other than the house white. Bear in mind that you simply want a drinkable wine that does not offend the taste of your companion and is a nice background for a good conversation.
If you are really not sure what to choose, why not ask your server to match each course with a nice glass of wine? Give him your polite instruction of what you expect to go with your light meals and let him do the job.
Of course, you could always give your companion the choice, just don’t give it to the chef, he will almost certainly choose the most expensive bottle.