That awkward moment when you try to look sophisticated…and fail.
In professional and social settings, no drink rises to the occasion quite like a glass of wine. It’s the universal and sophisticated choice. No matter what bottle or box it came from, you can make your wine taste better and look good doing it. Make your drinking experience more enjoyable with these tips.
…what to order
At a restaurant the host is always the one to order. If you don’t know what to order, ask the waiter or sommelier for suggestions. You may also choose to ask your guest if they have any preference. If price is of concern, summon a sommelier and indicate with your finger what price range you are looking in. Lastly, a wine is only bad if the host says so.
…which glass to use
Know the difference between a white wine glass, a red wine glass, and dessert wine glasses. When it comes to size, the richer the wine, the larger the glass.
…about your pairing
A good wine and food pairing takes into consideration the richness and flavor of the dish. Pinot noir and Rieslings are quite versatile, food friendly wines. When unsure about a pairing, consult a sommelier at your wine store or restaurant.
Wine experts tell me that temperature has a lot to do with how enjoyable a wine is. Red wines are best served cool (60/70F, 15/20C), white wines and rosés (50/60F, 10/15C). Before you run out and buy a thermometer, let me tell you about the 20/20 rule. White wine should be taken out of the fridge 20 minutes before being served, and red wine should be put into the fridge 20 minutes before being served. If you are reading this less than 20 minutes before your party, I give you permission to swirl an ice cube in your red wine for 4 seconds to get it to the right temperature.
Clinking originated as a way to establish communality. The pleasant sound of clinking can add to the spirit of the gathering. Some occasions do not warrant this tone, such as funerals. Clink bell-to-bell as to reduce the risk of smashed glass. Don’t feel like you need to clink with everyone, just raise your glass and make eye contact with those far away.
…coast through the toast
The host leads the way and is the first to toast at an event. Keep toasts short, 20 seconds or less. The better the wine, the more your brevity will be appreciated. If there is a toast in your honor, forget you have a glass. Do not touch or look at yours. After the toast has finished, return the toast. A nice evening should include a toast to the host, initiated by a savvy guest.
…pouring just enough
It let’s you swirl the wine to let it breathe, and perhaps more importantly, it prevents spillage once you get tipsy.
…looking inside your glass
Anything else is weird. Make eye contact with someone drinking out of a glass and you’ll know what I mean.
…holding by the stem
If a glass has a stem, hold it by the stem. Holding the bowl with your hand will alter the temperature of the wine. You may also appreciate that it keeps your glass free of grease marks.
…without hogging the wine
Offer to pour for others before filling your own glass; anything else would be poor manners!
…without smudging lipstick
If you’ve made it this far, don’t let your lipstick do you in! There are a few ways to avoid leaving conspicuous lipstick stains on glasses. When you aren’t being watched, lick your glass before putting your lips on it. You may also blot your lips with tissue paper, but never with a cloth napkin.