Tips For Men On How To Seem Like A #WineLover
You love beer.
So, too, does PubClub.com.
But there are times when you – we – need to drink wine. Corporate gatherings, a private dinner party, a friend’s birthday celebration at a restaurant, weddings and, of course, trying to act classy with the wife, girlfriend or attempting to impress a new date or even the boss or client.
This article is for you. It’s a beer drinker’s guide to drinking wine.
You don’t have to be an expert at wine, you just need to know enough to get by so you can enjoy it and feel comfortable during those times when you’re in a wine environment.
Wine, like beer, can be a very social drink.
Here’s the two most basic things you should know about wine:
• Don’t drink white zinfandel in public. That’s like going to the bar and ordering a sloe gin fizz. It just shows you don’t know what you are doing, that you’re better off with a clipboard than being under center. The reason is that white zif – not to be confused with the red zif, which is actually quite good and can be quite pricey, as well – is a “starter” wine. It’s very sweet. There’s nothing wrong with starting out your wine drinking experience with it, just do it at home. From there, graduate to a lighter white or red.
• Don’t order a rose. That’s blend of white and red grapes and besides not being very good, it shows you can’t make up your mind. Be decisive! Actually, rose is a popular wine in France on warm afternoons. But this advice is for those who are in a bar or restaurant where it’s not appropriate.
COMPARING WINES TO BEERS
If you drink these kinds of beers, these are the types of wines that fit the style:
• Light Beer: Pino Grigio
• Regular Lager– Riesling
• Heavier/Bolder Lager: Chardonnay
• Pale Ale: Shiraz
• IPA: Pino Noir (Pinor Noir is said to be the skeleton key to the human palate, by the way) or Zinfandel
• Stout: Cabernet Sauvignon
You can’t slam wine like you can beer
One of the great things about beer is that you can slam it. Race your buddies, get onto the next one, settle a bet over a sports loss. But you can’t do that with wine. You have to drink it more patiently. There’s no beer bong for wine.
Just like there are wine snobs, there are beer snobs, too
Don’t be put off if you find yourself in a group of discriminating wine drinkers. The kind who sniff the cork, roll the wine around the glass before drinking, who pretend (which is most often the case) that they detect “a hint” of fruit or whatever flavor. Just remember, some of your fellow beer drinkers are the same way, those microbrew and craft beer snobs who scoff at anything that’s not up to their picky standards. Just deal with it – and fill up your glass when they are not looking!
Your tastes in wines is likely to change
Now here’s a funny thing about wine that doesn’t happen with beer: Your tastes change. You could start to like one type or brand of wine and have it on several occasions, then take a break and suddenly it tastes foul.
Can’t explain that one, but just know that wines are not like beer in this area. With beer, if you drink Bud Light, you drink Bud Light.
And while there’s a NASCAR-type brand loyalty with beers, this is not the case with wines. While there are some vineyards that people seek out they are not as readily available as Bud Light.
There’s a lot of changing when it comes to drinking wine. That’s why it’s most important to find they type of wine(s) you like, rather than a particular brand.
WINE BUYING GUIDE
This is the probably the most difficult part of wine drinking for beer drinkers: Knowing which wine to buy for a dinner party or date. After all, it’s not like picking up a 12-pack for your buddies, whom you know will happily drink whatever you bring them. There’s pressure to get it right, and you don’t want to show up with something questionable and wonder if people are laughing at you behind your back the entire night.
Here’s five top tips to take the pressure off so you can get it right:
1.) Find someone in the store and ask them their recommendations. In good places to buy wine (see #5 for recommendations) you can always find someone who works there to ask their wine recommendations. They are quite knowledgable and can help you show up with a bottle that gets a few “oohs ad aahs.” You’ll even learn a bit about the wine and you can use your new-found knowledge to impress the other guests. If there’s no store employee around, just ask other customers in the wine section. You can tell the “pros” from the “Joes” by the way they are looking at the choices. The “pros” are taking their time studying the selections; the “Joes” are bent over because the cheapest wines are kept on the lower shelves.
2.) Pick a wine from California. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with any wine from California.
3.) If you are completely unsure, go with a red over a white. Because they are heavier, red wines have much more room for error than white wines. If you choose poorly on a white wine, it’s pretty noticeable. If you miss on a red, you’ll get a few “hmms, it’s not quite there” comments, but you won’t be embarrassed. You can easily cover yourself by saying you had seen it before and were curious about it. And eventually people will drink it anyway.
4.) You can shop on price, but don’t be too cheap. File this one under “know your audience.” If it’s just a casual gathering, you can pick up something reasonable in the $7-10 range that won’t embarrass you. If it’s a more medium gathering, then figure in the $15 range. Anything higher in statue or importance, then don’t go below $25. There are a lot of excellent wines being produced these days in the $10-20 range and the point here is that you don’t have to go out and spend $40 or $50 on a bottle in an effort to get it right or to keep from getting embarrassed.
5.) Go to a wine store, a grocery store or speciality store like Trader Joe’s to get the wine, not your local liquor store. Many grocery stores today – if you live in an area where the laws allow wine to be sold in grocery stores – have entire wine sections with great selections. Don’t be afraid to go there to find your wine. If you’re got Trader Joe’s or another speciality store like TJs or Whole Foods, that’s another great call.
Go wine tastings and wine events
Wine tasting events are not only fun, they attract a lot of girls.
If you’re the least put off by wine, then go wine tasting. It’s not the fact that you are actually tasting the wines, it’s the fact you are in what is usually a fun and social environment, the protocol of sipping wine goes out the window after a few tastes or wineries and mass consumption takes command. Now, you are in your element! There are wine tasting rooms, wine tastings at local wine shops and, of course, wine tours in places like Napa or several other wine-growing regions around the world. Go on one. It’s like visiting a brewery where you are trying all the beers!
Another good related activity is to go to food and wine festivals. These things cost $50 and up and even the most sophisticated wine drinkers throw ’em back, because they want to be sure they are getting their $50+ worth out of the day. Plus, if you’re single, this is a great place to meet girls!