The pressure is on.
Expectations for action are higher than any other night of the year except maybe senior prom. One tried-and-true and fantastically effective aphrodisiac is to treat your sweetie to an elegant dinner. Fortunately for you, there are people trained to make you look good enough to get in the game. Well, at least when it comes to ordering wine. Here are tips from some top sommeliers on how to order wine competently, plus some suggested wines to help you round the bases.
Canterbury is a consultant to wine competitions, freelance writer and teaches at top wine schools. New York City-based sommelier Christy Canterbury recommends doing your homework before heading out the door. Double-check that the list is current, either from the date on the web or by calling the reservationist. Bill Elsey recommends putting sommeliers to work to use their knowledge to your benefit. Just give them a few parameters to work within to get the best. Start by knowing what type of wine your date likes to drink: Do they prefer sweet or dry, white or red, light or full bodied, fruit forward or earth driven?
Next, tell the sommelier how much you are willing to spend on a bottle. Finally, if you are completely open to suggestions, give the floor to the sommelier and let them guide you with wine and food pairings with each course.
To bring you home, he advises:. Scott Ota suggests that you start the conversation by asking your date his or her preferences. Be confident, and ask questions.
It's premier cru, and cheaper than Veuve Clicquot! Go with quality, not the big name. Davis Smith is a studying sommelier.
He also produces content for his own personal website, winestateofmind. His philosophy regarding wine is simple: Keep an open mind, be honest, and drink what you enjoy. Davis Smith recommends open communication to make sure your special night goes off without a hitch. Sommeliers love curious customers. Slightly sparkling and slightly sweet, this Italian wine goes great with sal.
Look for Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain that is very high in quality and very low in price. You get great freshness and a wonderful savory character from Cava that is tough to find in other sparkling wines at the same price.
Whether you choose Champagne, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon, wine experts agree that the surest path to passion is to listen to your date and order what they like. Now get out there and make it happen. By Eric Sandler. HRW What's Eric Eating Episode By CultureMap Staff.
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By Matt McGinnis. Feb 14,am. Enlarge Slideshow. Scott Ota. Christy A. Canterbury Photo by Michael Seto. Davis Smith. Canterbury, Master of Wine Canterbury is a consultant to wine competitions, freelance writer and teaches at top wine schools.
Bump up the quality to really swoon your date. A cool thing about Rioja is that the wines are released later, so it looks particularly special because they are older than most wines you usually drink. Pinot Noir is the ultimate svelte, graceful, sexy wine, and Red Burgundy is the best there is in the category. Splurge for a Premier Cru if you can, but there are lots of good Village-level wines out there.
The and vintages are on lists now and are spectacular. Only go for the s if you like really racy, lean, mineral styles of wine. A great way to compromise if there are sweet and dry wine drinkers on a date.
All of the lemon, apple and citrus fruit that comes with Riesling without the sweet finish. Pinot Noir is always a safe go-to for both red and white wine drinkers and Oregon is my favorite New World region for Pinot. These wines typically are fruit forward, but not overly extracted with out of balance alcohol. Look for as a stellar vintage from the Willamette Valley. Retour and Domaine Serene are two of my personal favorite producers.
This adds another element to the dining experience and is sure to score you points.
Look for wines that benefit from age such as: Barolo, Barbaresco, Bordeaux, and wines from the Northern Rhone. Personally, I'd go with Barbaresco. These wines show depth of flavor, are elegant and beautiful on the nose.
Like a woman who has it all together — confidence, beauty, finesse, maturity. I love the Nebbiolo grape and it is fairly off the radar for most wine drinkers, so it shows you know a little something about classy wines when you order one. Look for or vintages, both great years for Piedmont. One of my all-time favorite producers is Pio Cesare. The wine is gentle, but structured, with plenty of fresh red fruits. A well-structured Cabernet is classic, confident, powerful and alluring. It has bold, rich black fruits mixed with judicious oak that provides spice and chocolate.
By-pass third and head for home: A second bottle.
Slightly sparkling and slightly sweet, this Italian wine goes great with sal, generally the first thing set on the table, especially if there is a salty component to the salad. This wine has blown up in the marketplace lately and is widely available. This fortified dessert wine has a boost in alcohol and is super rich, thick and delicious.
A glass of this after dinner makes you feel warm on the inside and the deep dark aromas of berry, cassis and chocolate make for a nice mood setter for after you get home. Talk to your date about what they like about a wine and listen very carefully.