Always pour her wine first

Most women prefer wine over either beer or hard alcohol, in part for the taste but more so for the sophistication.  Women feel more cultured drinking a glass of wine than a beer and they feel that it’s more socially acceptable for a woman to drink a bottle of wine than a six-pack.  Add to that the fewer perceived calories and other ‘health benefits’ and it’s no wonder women prefer wine.  You can take advantage of this by educating yourself on the basics of wine and learning such basic skills as properly opening a bottle, decanting and how to order a bottle in a restaurant.  Doing so will give her the impression that you are highly cultured and sophisticated, which will increase her sense of attachment to you, especially when you go out with some friends to a nice restaurant and she can proudly hand you the wine menu and say, “Honey, why don’t you take care of the wine.”  Keep in mind that what she’s really saying to everyone at the table is, “My husband is more sophisticated than anyone else sitting here, so suck on that!”  

Now, if you’ve been guzzling cheep beer for the last five years you might find wine to be somewhat intimidating.  Fear not!  While wine can become infinitely complex, the basics are all you really need to learn.  Just familiarize yourself with the basic different pairings (white wine goes with fish and chicken, red goes with meat) and the major different types of grapes that are out there (pinot noir = light and fruity, cabernet sauvignon = heavier and fuller, merlot = middle of the road, shiraz/syrah = spicy) and the major different regions (France=old and heavy, Italy=old and heavy, Australia=young and spicy, California=young and flavorful) and the differences between them.  You don’t need to learn every single label, just know that if you’re having steak you want a heavy red from France, or if you’re having chicken you want a light white from Italy, etc.  If in doubt, ask the waiter what they recommend but make sure to lay out some boundaries, such as, “Can you recommend a good French wine to go with the Filet?”  This take the pressure off you having to decipher the menu but you still get credit for knowing something about wine.  As for ordering wine at restaurants, here are the basic steps:  

Ask everyone at the table what they are going to be eating, take the average (provided the foods are somewhat similiar otherwise you’re better off each getting your own glass), look on the wine menu, find the particular type of grape that will go well with what everyone is having, and pick the one that falls in the middle of the price range.  You don’t want to go with the cheapest but don’t pick the most expensive either.  Now comes the ordering part.  The hardest part about this is you have to walk a fine line between sophistication and total douche bag.  You have to take the tasting seriously enough to show the waiter you respect him and the restaurant, but at the same time you need to make sure you don’t give off the impression that you are a wine snob and are looking to show off your extensive knowledge of viticulture.  Here are the basic steps:  After the waiter brings the bottle he will hold it out for your inspection.  Look at the label, take no more than 3 seconds to make sure it’s what you ordered and give the waiter a slight, yet masculine, nod of the head.  He will then uncork the bottle and will place the cork on the table in front of you (not all restaurants do this, but if they do, it’s a good sign that you either have a really good waiter and/or are in a really nice restaurant).  Take the cork, wave it in front of your nose a couple times and smell it.  Provided it doesn’t smell like vinegar, place it back on the table and give the waiter another nod.  He will then pour you a very small amount of wine.  Place your fingers on the base of the glass and gently swirl the wine inside the glass.  DO NOT OVER SWIRL!!  Nothing will ruin your hard earned credibility like sloshing wine all over the table.  The point of swirling is to aerate the wine, which allows the wine to ‘open up.’  After a few brisk, yet controlled, swirls, lift the glass to your mouth and tilt it so your nose is inside the glass but not so far that you spill wine all over your shirt.  Pause for one second and then inhale the wine’s aroma.  Assuming you’re satisfied with what you smell, go ahead and take a sip but do not swallow.  Let the wine linger in your mouth for a second, swish it once or twice (keep in mind it’s wine, not Listerine!) so you can absorb the flavors, then swallow.  Assuming the wine doesn’t make you vomit, go ahead and put your glass back down on the table and give the waiter another nod.  He will then pour glasses for everyone at the table, starting with the ladies, and ending with you.  After he’s done pouring your glass, look him in the eye and say, “Thank you.”  While the whole process is quite simple, you can see how it’s very easy to end up looking like a total dick if you overplay your part.  Learn to walk that fine line and I guarantee you will forever own the coveted position of ‘sophisticated wine guy.’ 

One more thing:  Whenever you buy a bottle of wine for your wife try and default to a medium to heavy red.  These wines are loaded with what are called tannins, which have the wonderful effect of stimulating a woman’s libido far more than any other type of alcohol.  A well earned reward for the one hour you spent on the internet learning about wine.

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