So the date is going well, you have been chivalrous and cordial, opening doors and complimenting on how lovely she looks. But now you sit opposite her with a wine list trembling in your hand. Fear not, here at A Gentleman’s Row, we are here to help. Our beginners guide to picking the right wine will help you steer your ship through those murky quaffing waters.
Step 1: What’s On The Menu?
Knowing what you are eating is crucial to getting the wine right. Red wines go nicely with beef and game, those dishes with more of a full-bodied taste. White wines are ideal for lighter dishes such as fish, chicken or those with a cream sauce. If it is spicy food you are having then look for sweeter wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio
Step 2: New-World vs Old-World
Different regions and areas as you can imagine bring with them a variety of differing climates and soil conditions that can drastically affect the taste of the same grape family. If in doubt go with your instincts and stick to the regions of the world you most associate with wine production. Areas such as France, Italy or Germany for example are referred to as old-world, and we would suggest these over the new-worlds that although have their merits are best left to those with a bit more knowledge.
Step 3: Age
Now don’t be fooled into believing that all red wines mature with age. Just like some men I know, most commercial wines available will actually worsen with age, so stick to those a year or so from the opening date.
Step 4: Price
I think I know what I’m going to say…don’t buy the cheapest bottle on the menu! It’s a rookie mistake. Restaurateurs also apply the highest mark-up to the house selection, so again give those a wide berth. Stick to what has best suited your requirements in the earlier steps, and then don’t be swayed by going cheap.
Step 5: Get An Experts Opinion
If in doubt, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. If you’ve chosen a fine dining restaurant, then there will be more than likely a sommelier or wine director on hand. Confidence is key, ask for suggestions and cultivate their knowledge. He or she will know the list backwards and can recommend wines based on the dishes you have chosen
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.