First dates are nerve-wracking enough without having to worry about the best wine for a dinner date!
A bottle of wine is a great choice for a date because it limits your drinking. If you share it equally with your date, half a bottle will not get you too drunk. And, as Thrillist points out in their article on drinking etiquettes for first dates, a bottle of wine will likely be something both you and your date will enjoy and agree on.
However, there are some other social sins that can be committed whilst choosing wine on a date.
First, you need to decide whether you want white, red, rosé or sparkling wine. This is perhaps the most important decision. As a general rule, red wine is more of an acquired taste and it can be harder to select a good red. Therefore, when you do not know your companion’s tastes it may be wise to steer clear of the red wine section.
Sparkling wine can make you appear a little pretentious, or if you go for a cheaper version, a tightwad; so this is usually best avoided. If you are not sure whether your companion likes wine at all, rosé wine is often a safe option as it often lacks the sharpness that people commonly dislike in wines. You can also opt for a white. Here are a few that Shawn Zelberberg recommends: Sauvignon Blanc for those new to wine, Riesling for dates that like “sweeter wines with hypnotizing perfumes”, or even a Chardonnay for those looking to try something bolder.
How Much to Spend?
Remember more money doesn’t always mean more quality. You don’t need to spend all your savings on a bottle in order to impress your date. Plenty of high quality wines can be found for a decent price online or in your local liquor store. Instead, focus on the type of wine, and then choose an option within your budget.
If you are very new to wine, go for a house white. A house white is unlikely to be extremely imaginative or unusual but is almost always perfectly drinkable. For this reason, it is a safe, middle of the road option.
If you want to impress, look for something other than the house white. We usually recommend to keep away from extremes until you know your companion a little better, so don’t go for bone dry whites. Instead, opt for a fruity dry wine that appeals to those who like both dry and medium whites.
Whilst neutral wines may seem like a bit of a cop-out, bear in mind that you simply want a drinkable wine that does not offend.
If you are really not sure what to choose, why not offer your companion a choice of glasses as an aperitif while you have a beer or spirit. This way you can judge your companion’s taste. Even if they select a spirit, you can still get a measure of whether they prefer sweet or dry wines.
Of course, you could always give your companion the choice
Did you know that you can order wine online?
For the occasion when you are planning a dinner at home, we’ve gathered some of the best wine delivery services for you! If you are looking for a nice bottle delivered to your doorstep check out Wine Awesomeness with their awesome (creative, sigh…) selection of wines for any price range. Also, if you are interested in learning about and tasting more wines, The California Wine Club offers a great subscription service, that will have wines from local winemakers shipped to you on an occasional basis. Along-side the fabulous wine, you will receive a brochure with all of the information about the maker and the wine itself!