A Simple Guide To Wines So You Don’t Look Like A Caveman At Dinner
You might think that all wines taste the same—like rancid grape juice cut with nail varnish. But believe it or not, there’s a difference in flavor between all the wines. And you’re going to need to know that difference the next time you’re out at a fancy dinner trying to impress a work associate, date, and/or work associate you’re trying to turn into a date. Otherwise, you’ll look unsophisticated, like a caveman who’s surprised by his own farts. Do you really want to make the mistake of not knowing if Alsace is currently in France or Germany while sipping on a Pino Grigio you refer to as “oaky”? No! Here’s a handy guide to wines so you can bullshit your way through a meal.
1.) 2015 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay
Prove to your dining companions that you aren’t some cretinous cave-dweller who’s never sipped anything more complex than kiwi sandia La Croix by ordering a bottle of this robust wine. Be sure to comment on its hints of ripe melon, vanilla extract, and pencil shavings. Say something intelligent, like, “The flavors dance across your tongue like a hyperactive eight-year-old at a ballet recital.” You can totally steal that from us verbatim.
2.) 1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
1998 was a pleasant year for this sparkling wine, which is something you can pretend to know when your company asks you, “What’s good?” This champagne vintage is shy and introverted, and has hints of fresh tomatoes, cinnamon, and ass. We’d recommend skipping this one, as opening up a bottle will open up a conversation about the difference between sparkling wine and champagne, and that’s not something you’re qualified to get into.
3.) 2011 Sandhi Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
This mysterious wine tastes like your childhood, provided your childhood was spent skipping across the Bordeaux region of France, not eating Cheez Whiz in front of a TV. It has hints of black pepper, tart cherry, and cigarette-butt water. A must try!
4.) 2008 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is as bold as a contestant on The Bachelor asking to “steal Colton for a second.” The flavor screams raw meat, forest dirt, and regurgitation. We recommend pairing this one with steak, and also practicing how to pronounce “sauvignon” alone at home first. Tripping over the “gnon” sound is a dead giveaway that you’re a filthy fraud who doesn’t deserve to be at a restaurant this nice. Better to get it right than to have an entire table of people point at you, chanting, “Imposter! Imposter! Caveman imposter!” That could happen!
5.) 2008 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Spätlese Riesling
This complex and obfuscated wine has notes of sour cream, Christmas cookies, and a weird tea you drink when you’re on your period so you don’t get cramps. If you order a bottle for the table, they’ll nominate you to be the new sommelier—even though you secretly have this guide to wines up on your phone for reference. But it’s better to recite what someone else said than to come off like someone Encino Man-ed you.
If you feel like a fraud when you’re describing these wines, that just means you’re doing it right!