How to Choose the Right Wine for Date Night

couple toasting wine

Valentine's Day might be over but there are still plenty of date nights in your future. If you're out to impress, choosing the right bottle might be a little intimidating. The good news is we're here to help with these tips. 

Get to Know the Story 

Even a disappointing bottle of wine can be interesting if you tell the right story—and wines can have pretty fascinating backstories. Whether it's a Chardonnay made from a single vine that survived the wildfires in California or a French wine that's been made by the same family for hundreds of years, there's always a story to tell and a way to connect with what you're drinking. 

When it Doubt, Ask

Don't put a ton of pressure on yourself to magically know what kind of wine your date likes. Go ahead and ask if they have a favorite style or even if they prefer white or red. And remember, you'll score definite bonus points if you remember a wine they've mentioned in the past! 

How to Choose a Red Wine

Red wine sometimes feels a little more sophisticated than its white and pink cousins, so it's also a good wine for Valentine's Day or other special occasions.

Sweet red wine

We don't always think about red wine as being sweet, but there are actually plenty of sweet options in the red family. A nice syrah or shiraz both can have good levels of sweetness and they pair well with heartier foods like steak, cheese, and wild game. 

Dry red wine

They're called dry because they don't have any residual sugar in them, but usually have notes of darker fruits like cherry, plum, raspberry. Some of them are even described as earthy (as in tastes like dirt--but in a good way). 

If you're thinking about choosing a dry red, we recommend you go with a Merlot because it's easy to pair with just about everything. 

How to Choose a White Wine 

Feeling a little insecure about your wine choices? If you (or your date) are a novice wine drinker a white wine might be the best choice. Whites tend to be a little more forgiving and more of a crowd-pleaser. 

Sweet white wine

Sweet whites go great with lots of Asian-style foods, like Thai, Indian, and Vietnamese. They're a great balance to spiciness and complex flavors typically found in that type of cuisine. 

Dry white wine

A dry white wine is a great, versatile choice if you don't know what type of food your date's going to order. These wines go great with everything from seafood and shellfish to chicken and pork, so chances are it will pair well with something on the menu. 

Ask an Expert

When in doubt you can always stop by the Tap and we'll be happy to make a recommendation! 

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Category: Wine