How to Pick the Best Wine for Date Night
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, many couples enjoy dinners out during the month of February. Whether you plan on indulging in a buttery steak or freshly caught seafood, you’ll need a bottle of wine to complete your meal. Not only does a glass of wine enhance the flavors in foods, but also it lightens the mood and makes date nights a bit more fun!
Below you’ll find the best tips for choosing the perfect wine for date night.
Start with the food
What’s on the menu? It’s typically easier to select a wine when you know what you’re going to eat – at least sort of. For example, you’ll want to avoid high levels of alcohol when eating spicy foods. Rich meats pair well with full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon. Fish tastes great with white wines, though you can pick a delicate red wine as well.
Know the basics on popular wines
It’s helpful to know some basics of the most popular wines. Here are the most widely ordered red and white wines in America:
- Merlot. Merlot is a smooth, soft red wine that is easy to drink and pairs well with almost any meal. When in doubt, order a Merlot. You won’t be disappointed thanks to its elegant, plummy taste.
- Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the most popular wine variety in the United States. It has a full-bodied flavor that pairs well with bold foods like red meat. If you prefer rich, robust wines, a glass of Cabernet is the way to go.
- Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a white wine – and the most popular of its kind in the U.S. It’s actually a very complex wine with many flavors. Oaked Chardonnay tends to have added flavors like vanilla, butter and caramel, whereas other Chardonnays have a more tropical taste.
- Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is the most popular wine in Italy. It has refreshing flavors of lemon, lime and green apple. It’s a great option if you’re eating fish because it’s often very dry and not sweet.
Try something new
If you’re having a first date, it’s a great idea to try a new wine. This way, you’ll have something to talk about! Communicate with your date to see which type of wine they like. Aromatic vs mainstream? Robust or delicate? When served, be sure to swirl the glass to increase the wine’s contact with air. This intensifies the aroma of fruits, spices, herbs and flowers.
Ask for a recommendation
If you’re still unsure which wine to choose, ask for a recommendation. Again, it’s helpful to know what profile you like so that your waiter or waitress can make a more accurate suggestion. And, if you need a few more minutes or need to cleanse your palate, start with a glass of bubbly champagne.
Are you planning a date night in Napa Valley? February is a popular month for couples’ dinners, but you can plan this getaway anytime! Contact Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to learn about our specials and book your stay. Our convenient location ensures you get the most from your romantic weekend.