April 30, 2014 by Jack

Ordering wine can be intimidating. 
The pairing, the swirling, the sniffing. Like cologne, a little (knowledge) goes a long way. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your next wine experience for you and your date. 
Don’t Pretend?  
Not a wine expert? No worries. You don't have to talk shop with the sommelier to find the right bottle. Try it and you’ll be the guy who pretends to know about cars and pours oil in the radiator. Your date won’t be impressed. 
Know What You Like  
You don’t have to know every producer on the list, but you do need to know your own palate. If you can share the wines you normally drink, your sommelier should be able to point you to the right choice. 
Know Something   
Obviously not every restaurant has a sommelier, so unless you want to be at the mercy of an 19-year-old whose wine experience is limited to Franzia bought with a fake ID, you’ll want some knowledge of your own. Simple visual guides such as the one at Wine Folly are a nice start. 
Bottles Not Glasses
The restaurant has to open a bottle just to pour you a glass, so you can rest assured they’re factoring that into the cost. A bottle is always the best option (unless a half-bottle is an option in which case that’s an even better option), just make sure you either already know the wine or have tasted it before you order. 
Order Early
It’s fine to start enjoying wine before your meal, so don’t put off ordering and risk having to wait while your food goes cold. Some people spend their entire lives studying wine. Cheers to the rest of us who just spend our lives enjoying it.