Cover photo cred - Oopsmark
Let's face it, young people are far from wine connoisseurs. While our parents and older friends have wine cellars, decanters, and drink wine for the taste (instead of for getting drunk), us younger chumps just grab a bottle at the dep and chug-a-lug.
No shame in getting shwasty on dep wine, there's just not too much class to it.
Plus, as rare as it is, when you come across a guy or gal who knows a lot about wine, they automatically become sophisticated and sexy.
Become one of them (without having to sit through reruns of Frasier) and look like a fancy wine person, with these easy hacks.
Know Your Flavour
To keep it general and easy, there are three major categories of wine: red, white, and rosé. Then there are a huge amount of subcategories in each wine-strain, based on region and flavour. Rosé makes it easy, and is just based on colour or region, without any fancy names. You, nor I, have time to learn all of these for your next fancy outing. Instead, just learn a couple of popular types of each, that way, when you're drinking a certain colour of wine, you can spout off a "Oh, is this a Pinot grigio?" and sound like you know your shit. Even if you're wrong, you'll still seem fancy. Just make sure to keep your colours straight!
Popular Reds: Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
Popular Whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot grigio, Riesling
How To Drink
Actions speak louder than words when it comes to wine, so you best not make any sipping mistakes and out yourself as a wino-newbie. Some pointers:
- Always hold from the stem - keeps the wine from warming via heat from your hand.
- Before you sip, give it a whiff - a pompous smell of the wine before drinking makes it look like you know what you're doing.
- Swish it around - Twirling your wine in your glass is not only fun, it's a technique for looking at the 'legs' left behind, which indicate alcohol content
- Sips > Gulps - I know, you won't get drunk as quick, but it makes it look like your 'savouring' the wine
- Keep your pinky up - You're trying to pass for fancy here, remember?
The Ol' Switcheroo
You've no doubt heard fancy-folk talk about wine, describing the flavour in such intricate terms it's like they're writing an essay rather than sipping on some drank. Wine enthusiasts have trained their palettes to pick up on the softest of flavours, but you can do the same and sound just as fancy by just pointing out the obvious. All you need to do is switch around some words.
- Bitter → "A strong citrus bite"
- Sweet → "There's a certain fruity quality to it"
- Spicy (like there's nutmeg or cinnamon in there) → "I would almost say it has very earthy undertones"
- Kinda bland→ "I do detect a nutty element, don't you?"
Feel free to switch these up as you like. Besides, it's all about confidence. As long you describe the wine with some authority, someone will agree with you. Probably someone as clueless as you are, but that still counts!
What goes with what
In case you didn't know, certain types of wine are typically paired with specific foods. I'm of the opinion that any wine goes well with a bag of Cheetos, but not everyone agrees with me on that. For your next dinner party, here's a basic breakdown.
- Red: Easy to remember, red wine generally goes with red meat. The darker the red, the more seasoned you can go with the meat (e.g. smoked meat)
- White: Dryer/more bitter whites are typically for veggies (e.g. salads, roasted) while sweeter whites go with cheese. Both are good to go with fish.
- Rosé: A wild card wine, Rosé fills the gap between white and red, pairing with more rich fish (e.g. crab) and lighter meats (e.g. pork, chicken), and kind of anything else.
- Dessert Wine: Dessert...duh.
How to order
If you're out on a date and want to look next-level classy with your wine knowledge, start off strong with proper ordering technique.
- First, ask your waiter what they have of any generic wine type, remember those? Being slightly specific will go a long way.
- Whether he lists a bunch off, or just gives you a wine list, just make sure to look displeased. This will make you seem fussy, and fussy is just another word for classy.
- Now, begin quiet pondering. You don't actually have to think about it, just look like you're in deep thought. A scratching at the chin goes a long way at this point
- After a bit of awkward silence, ask your partner what they think. Either they'll have an opinion (making your life easier) or they'll just leave it to you, thus asserting your role as the classy one.
- Choose whatever one you like but just be sure to make it seem like you're settling for something you don't want. The classic "Fine, I guess we'll just get that one" will make you seem too classy for the joint.
And there you have it, some foolproof ways to make you seem like a wine connoisseur. Don't use your powers for evil though, you never know when you'll go up against a legit wine aficionado and be totally humiliated!