Ordering wine on a date can be more frightening than those costumes on "Dancing with the Stars," and wow, they are truly frightening. Here's how to navigate this situation whether you're a guy, a girl, an expert, or a novice.
- Gimme that wine list: My darling husband likes wine, but as the official geek in the family, I handle the ordering in restaurants. (He in turn is the Czar of Netflix, but that's another story...) How annoying is it when the server automatically hands the list to the gentleman every single time? Girls, don't be shy. If you know about wine, ask for that list or at least look over it with your date.
- Ask, don't tell: Hey there, wino. It doesn't matter if you adore fancy wines with fancy names, or if you're just dying to try that obscure bottle from Slovenia. Don't order wine without asking your guest what his or her preference is. No one likes the wine dictator. Good manners mean asking someone what he or she likes to drink, whether or not they know a lot about wine.
- Be diplomatic: Do you know a lot more about wine than your date? Here's a tip. Don't make your guest feel dumb by correcting his or her pronunciation in front of the server or sommelier. Or do you hate the chardonnay your date is raving about? Be a good sport and be flexible. You can always drink whatever wine you want all by your lonesome, NOT-ON-A-DATE self.
Let's get it on:
- Ice-breaker, free of charge: Talking over the wine list together also provides an easy conversational piece, especially if it's a blind date. Had a great time on a trip to Sonoma? A favorite bottle of pinot noir to share? Baffled by some wine lingo? Keep the topics light and bright, and don't try to show off; instead, be genuine in trying to draw out the other person's interests.
The wine, that is. Hold on there, and remember that boozing it up on a first date, or in a classy restaurant anytime, is a surefire way to NOT impress your date. Besides, wine isn't meant to be guzzled, no matter how nervous you two may be. Sip, breathe, repeat. Wine is a much more civilized beverage over which to get to know someone, precisely because it encourages sipping and chatting. Those body shots on Spring Break didn't result in Mr. or Mrs. Right, now did they? Just a thought.