After purchasing luxe suits online, making reservations, and even stopping in to get your hair trimmed, you’re just about ready for your big date. While you’ve never been to the restaurant before, you have heard it’s the best of the best in your town.
Exciting, right? And as far as you know, the date will be smooth sailing from the time you pick her up to the goodnight kiss at her door. While it may indeed go smoothly, there might be one hitch you hadn’t counted on; one problem that even the most thorough dating guides fail to mention: ordering a bottle of wine.
Do you know what to do when your server bring a bottle of wine to your table? Do you even know how to read a wine list and select the correct vintage? Like most men, the answer to these questions is probably no. Don’t worry, though. We have a short guide to help you navigate the complicated task of ordering wine on your date.
Ordering Wine on a Date
Purchasing a high quality suits during a suits sale for your date is only the first step to impressing your date. The next step is ordering a glass of wine that will go well with your dinner without looking like you have no idea what you are doing.
- Learn as much as you can about the restaurant’s wine list beforehand, so you won’t have to feel the pressure when you’re on your date. Often, you can do this by simply calling and asking the hostess a few questions or by going online to the restaurant’s website. You may also be able to make a prior reservation during an off-peak hour to taste different wines. Also, find out if the restaurant even serves liquor. There’s nothing worse than promising your date a nice glass of wine with dinner, only to find out the restaurant doesn’t serve it.
- If you don’t want to take the chance of picking the wrong wine at the restaurant, see if they will allow you to bring your own. Some restaurants will allow you to do this, as long as you don’t bring a brand they sell and pay a corkage fee.
- When the server presents you with the wine list, don’t feel overwhelmed. Wine lists are difficult to read, but this isn’t a life or death decision. Ask your date what type of wine she likes. If she says she hates red wine, your list is narrowed down greatly. Otherwise, consider what you are eating. For fish dishes like tilapia, cod, and shellfish, choose a light white wine. For dishes smothered in tomato sauces, salmon, poultry, and meaty dishes, choose a red wine. If you are eating spicy food or pastas with cream sauces or vegetables, choose a sparkling wine or white wine.
- Don’t base your choice on price. While you will need to be comfortable with the price of the wine, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. A moderately-priced wine can be just as wonderful as a high priced wine. A word of caution, however: avoid the house wine. It is usually selected by the restaurant to make a profit and is typically of poor quality.
Now that you’ve finally made a decision and ordered the wine you want, you still aren’t done. The server will come over to your table and present you with the bottle of wine. For many men, this process is more confusing than actually ordering the wine. It is an important step, though, because it is how you determine whether the wine is good enough to drink. Whatever you do, don’t grab the bottle out of the server’s hands. Follow these simple steps instead.
- When the server presents you with the unopened bottle, take a look at the label. If he brought you the wine you ordered, nod your head or say ‘yes.’ If he didn’t, don’t get upset. With the noise in the restaurant and your failed attempt to pronounce the name, there’s always a possibility the server didn’t understand what you wanted.
- After you have accepted the bottle, the server will uncork it and either hand you the cork or place it on the table in front of you. This is done so you can pick the cork up and look at it to make sure it isn’t cracked and dry. The cork should have one wet end if the wine is still good.
- Next, the server will pour a bit of wine into your glass. Smell the wine first; it should have a sweet or fruity odour to it. If it smells musty, mouldy, or vinegary, the wine may be bad. After you smell it, take a small sip and swallow it (even if it doesn’t smell right.) If it tastes vinegary, corky, or musty, let the server know. They may taste it as well to verify the bad taste and will take it back without any questions.
- If it tastes fine, let the server know. He will then fill up your date’s glass and then refill yours.
Luxurious and chic black suits, reservations at a fancy restaurant, and a great attitude are all needed for the perfect date, but you also need to know how to order a good glass of wine. Hopefully, this short guide has made ordering wine a much easier task for you.