Im always looking for dating tips in relation to drinking. Because, lets be real, dating usually entails meeting for a drink (as much as we may not always want it to) or drinking throughdinner.
Now, while I dont condonegetting hammered on a first date, I am a loyal wine lover. And because I love wine, I spoke withTyler Balliet, co-founder and president of Wine Riot, a huge wine tasting event series thats held in major cities across the US (the next one is coming up in NYC on September 23-24), to learn even more about it.
Here, Tyler gives us single vino lovers the skinny on what kinds of wines are best to drink on date night, how much to spend, and more.
How much should you spend on a bottlefor date night?
Wine is a lot like fashion, Balliet says. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
While some wine snobs can taste the difference between an $8 bottle and a $30 one, just because one kind of wine is twice as expensive as another doesnt always mean its twice as good which is valuable information in the event that youre a) trying to impress your date, or b) trying to dine on a budget.
Anything thats between $15-17 has never been in an oak barrel, but that doesnt necessarily mean its bad, adds Balliet. It just means it wasmass-producedin a factory, and it may be ridden with additives, which can leave you with one hell of a hangover.
Wines in the $20-$30 range, on the other hand, have most likely been hand-harvested, meaning the makers have put a lot of time and care in picking the grapes. And, if its made at a smaller winery, the qualitywill be better, which will be reflected in the cost.
Spending a little bit extra,even if you dont know what youre doing, will pay off, says Balliet.But really, you cant go wrong on a first date as long as you buy a bottle thatsmore thanten bucks.
How do you pair wine with food?
The lighter the meal, the lighter the wine should be. The heavier the meal, the heavier the wine should be.
So if youre heading to anicesteak dinner (you fancy, huh), order a full-bodied red wine, like malbec. If youll be eating white fish, opt for chardonnay. Easy, right?
Dropping this knowledge on your date can also be a great convo starterespecially if youre on one of the Tinder or blind date variety.
I think creating a talking point around it is your best bet, Ballietsays. Connect the wine to either a place youve been or somewhere you want to go (like Napa),which will open up the convo and help you share more and learnmore about the person youre with.
What can you doif you spill red wine on yourself?
One time, I went on a first date, and the dude was so nervous he spilled red wine all over my Gucci bag.
While annoying and unfortunate, this doesnt haveto be a deal breaker.
Ballietsuggests rinsing the wine splatter with warm water immediately. If that doesnt work, theres also a productcalled Wine Away, which is promised to wipe away all your sad wine stains. Ballietsuggests packing itin your purse, or at the very least, bringing along some Tide pens.
If its wine teeth youreworried about, unfortunately,theres not much you can do about it.Although,Pinot noir doesnt have the staining ability that a cabernet or zinfandel does, Ballietsays.
Or, you can just stick to white and smile, worry-free.
Which wine should you get for a beer-loving guy?
Fun fact: Women are genetically more predisposed to not like bitter tastes, Balliet says(I didnt know that!). Which means, its harder for women to adapt to the taste of beer than it is for men to adapt to wine. *Mind blown*
So, if your date is all about that Bud Light, suggest he trya bold, fruity, red wine, like anArgentinian malbec or a Californian zinfandel, since theyre more universally tasty.Another good option? Ros all day, baby!
Finally,as a last resort, your date could try acider, which also happens to be a great pickfor fall.
That being said, you shouldnt push your date to come to the wine side if hes really not into it. You can have your differences in drinking preferences and still be a great match.
As Balliet says, The story around wine is much more interesting than whats in the glass. Kindalike how your dates personality, humor, and interests should be much more important than what he orders at the bar.