Just Getting Into Wine? A Single Man’s Guide to Wine
Jim Schoenle Jr
Jim Schoenle Jr is a content creator who works in advertising. Digital advertising by day and writing, improv, and stand-up comedy by night, he has slowly been building a reputation for writing, acting, performing, and marketing. Jim writes for Uncorked Monthly, as well as SportsGuiders.com and Scholar Media Group. Follow him on Instagram @hotpicsofjames.
Just Getting Into Wine? A Single Man’s Guide to Wine
Is this a Friends episode?
So you met a cute girl on Tinder, or perhaps in a grocery store… just kidding what is this a Friends episode? Date one you hit it off over drinks at TGI Friday’s where you nod your head like a tired baby as she explains that the two of you are actually quite compatible with her being a Taurus and you being a Leo. The tension is thick when she touches your arm before going to the bathroom and you think “Hey, I read somewhere that an arm touch is good news!”
A few days later you suggest that date number two should take place at the bachelor pad, where the two of you can “hang out” and “watch a movie or something.” You open your fridge and it is a nightmare. Other than expired milk and questionable leftover pizza what do you have? Cheap beer and maybe some cranberry juice or lemonade to mix with some cheap vodka that could pass for nail polish remover. Suddenly you remember she was drinking wine at Friday’s…
“But Jim” you say, “I don’t know anything about wine!” Clearly with your taste in first date locations you don’t. Nothing against TGI Friday’s, they have pretty solid appetizers, but you want to show this lucky girl that you have at least a sliver of sophistication and style about you.
According to the Wine Institute, wine consumption in the United States has grown a ridiculous amount in the past 20 years from 1.74 gallons per capita to 2.84 gallons consumed. I suppose you could say that people in America like it. So there you are, aimlessly walking down the wine aisle with a terribly confused look on your face, but no need to worry because today I’ll set you up with a couple of go-to wine’s that are not going to decimate your wallet. In order to cover all your bases so you can get to third base later, you should get a red and white, more specifically a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay. Why those two? They are the most popular types of wine in America by far.
Pronounced “shar-dohn-nay”, Chardonnay is the most popular wine in America in terms of dollars spent. “Originally made in France”, if you want to impress her with a fun fact, actually no don’t say that. Made from green-skinned grapes that are pretty neutral in terms of flavor, the product itself can have a more acidic citrus-like flavor. Now, if this lady is one of those real fancy types, one of the wine terms you’ll often hear is “body”, which is essentially the weight of the wine in your mouth. Chardonnay can be described as having a light to medium body. When you’re in the store looking for what type of Chardonnay to buy, look for Rex Goliath Chardonnay. It runs between $6 and $10, and it has a cool label with a country looking rooster on it. Rex Goliath, in my opinion has a great fruity taste for the value and pairs nicely with some Ahi Tuna.
Secret Weapon: A Nice Blended White Wine
In my opinion, one of the most underrated white wines is Luna Di Luna’s Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay blend. It has that dry taste of Chardonnay with a light body but also has an awesome blend of apples, peaches, and other fruit flavors I can’t quite put my finger on. For only $11 or so, you can not only show her a great wine but also rock her world when you tell her in a very matter-of-fact tone that “this is an interesting Pinot Grigio Chardonnay blend.”
Often just referred to as Cabernet or “Cab”, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in America, and second in overall popularity to Chardonnay. When you suddenly can’t remember whether she had white wine or red wine, this is why you buy both. Pronounced “cab-er-nay saw-vee-nyon”, Cabernet goes well with fatty red meats like steak or lamb, I personally enjoy Cabernet with any sort of Italian dish. Although its not a Cab, my favorite red is called Apothic Red. For somewhere between $9 and $12 you can get a bottle of this stuff and you’ll be wondering why it doesn’t cost more. Apothic Red has a stylish dark bottle with a very stylish black and red label that screams “second date success!” Apothic Red has flavor notes of black cherry and vanilla and even a hint of chocolate, just in case you want to impress her with how sophisticated your taste buds are.
“Hmmm, yes I like how this has smooth notes of black cherry and a delicate mocha finish….it’s perfect for gazing at the stars or looking deeply into each other’s eyes.”
Some Final Thoughts
First of all, if you don’t know how to open a wine bottle, be a man, YouTube it, and be somebody! Ok, I’ll make it easy for you, watch how Uncorked Monthly opens a bottle of wine.
After frantically cleaning your bachelor pad (which, yes, you should), it is important to set the mood with the right music. It’s up to you but I personally suggest having the jazz album Moonlight in Vermont by Ahmad Jamal playing quietly in the background, so if she mentions the music you can say, “Oh this? Oh yeah I like this album when I’m trying to wind down and sending some last minute emails to clients.” Don’t have clients? Doesn’t matter, with your wine selection and new wine knowledge, she’ll think you do have clients.
As a general rule of thumb, white wine should be chilled and red wine should be served at slightly below room temperature. So before she comes over, white wine should be in the fridge for about two and a half hours and red wine for 40 minutes before serving. Don’t worry about the ins and outs of sniffing and wine tasting today; we’ll get to that another time. For now just relax, have the right attitude, and if things go according to plan you’ll have a new love for wine and a new woman in your life.
A little wine knowledge, and a sense of humbleness, mixed with some detached aloofness and she’s all yours.
As Mike Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High says, “The attitude dictates that you don’t care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin’. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.” Hopefully after today you at least have a little wine knowledge.