How to Order Red Wine Like a Boss
Posted by Zac Borrowdale on November 06, 2012 0 Comments
Do you cringe at the prospect of ordering wine? You know you like your steak rare, but it’s rare to decode a wine list when it reads like a French phone book. We at Legendary Suitjamas have removed the pre-quaffing sting to see you ordering red wine like a pro.
Now, you already know the basic rule of thumb: Red wine equals meat, white wine equals fish. That’s a great starting point, but to build upon that, red wine can go nicely with nibbles, such as pâté, fois gras and cheese. It also beautifully accompanies roast lamb, beef, duck, turkey and game, plus Italian, Moroccan, Greek, Spanish, German and Indian fare. So all in all, red wine equals good! Although make sure you wear a bib if you’re wearing your Suitjamas.
To help familiarize you with the main types, here’s a pocket guide to the Big Seven.
- Cabernet Merlot (‘cab-er-nay mer-low’) – great with grilled beef.
- Cabernet Sauvignon (‘cab-er-nay sav-in-yon’) – fabulous with pasta.
- Chianti (‘key-anti’) – perfect with rich, tomato-based meals.
- Merlot (‘mer-low’) – great with mains, chocolate and cheese.
- Pinot Noir (‘pee-no noo-ar’) – anyone for venison?
- Bordeaux (‘bored-o’) – superb with roasts.
- Shiraz (‘shee-raz’) – goes a long way with a good, juicy steak.
This handy wino-gram will help you further distinguish between the grapes, as well as know a little about white wines, should your date be so inclined ;)
So you kind of know what’s what, right? Now it’s time to order. First of all, don’t be afraid. Consult with your waiter. He or she can do most of the hard yards for you. Once you’ve discerned what your dining company will be eating, pair the food with the above. You’re already in a position to say something like ‘we’ve ordered the beef so we’re thinking … cabernet merlot’. This is where you can now sit back and wax lyrical.
When ordering or tasting red wine, think like a poet. What descriptions float into your mind that best describes what you’re wanting or experiencing? Here are some throwaway words that will help you sound like you know what you’re talking about:
Or you could try, ‘I can taste the … tobacco/spices/dark chocolate/plums or berries.’
Remember, only choose one or two of the above, otherwise you’ll sound like a jerk! And gentlemen who wear suitjamas are never jerks. Be sincere. What is the taste experience like for you, really? There’s no right or wrong. If to your mind the ruby ambrosia tastes like coffee beans, then it tastes like coffee beans, goddammit!
You might also like to experiment with the word ‘tannins’, again sparingly. Tannins refer to the punch a flavor packs. Subtle tannins equals good. Strong tannins equals bad. The latter may see you screwing up your face like you’ve just swallowed a grapefruit.
You are welcome.