it’s not technically a professional drinking event, there are some similar tips
you can keep in mind when it comes to ordering wine if you’re on a date.
first rule of drinking on a date is not to get hammered. It can happen easily – both of you are
nervous, the drinks flow well, especially if the company is good and before you
know it, you can’t stand so good. So
watch your consumption, particularly on a first date, it’s not a good look.
of the great ways to expand your palate beyond a wine club is by tasting wine
with friends. This is one of the ways
Sommeliers grow their wine knowledge, they taste a broad diversity of wines – lots
of grapes from lots of regions. You can
pretty easily emulate this yourself.
simple move is to find some friends that want to expand their wine knowledge
and invite them over. The usual rule is
that everyone brings a bottle to share with the group and they have to know
something about what they brought so they share the wine and the knowledge. This doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of wines with great typicity
under $20 a bottle.
Yup, it’s confusing: sometimes a wine is named by the grape used to make it and sometimes it is named by the area that it is grown. Lots of time, there is no indication of the grape used in this second group – you are just somehow supposed to know.
So how does this break down and what
are the few things you might want to remember?
has been a rise of the celebrity bartender and the use of local fresh
ingredients. I think that’s a great
thing and offers a chance to have some fun with a cocktail before we head to dinner
and wine. Most of these drinks are not designed
to pair with food, but rather they are meant to be enjoyed stand alone.
Even with the explosion of cocktails and craft cocktails, they generally follow the structure of one of the drinks listed below. I picked 20 cocktails that can certainly be called classic but it would be easy to argue more onto the list and I wouldn’t object.
While I mostly write about wine, the synonymous liquor and spirits are an important part of professional drinking and it’s worth knowing the basics. I am just going to cover a few of the major ones, but there are dozens I am not covering including variations of the ones in this article. Apologies if I missed your favorite.
Beer isn’t considered the classiest drink, but I have to admit after a round of golf on a warm day, it is hard to beat. You can’t go frat party crazy when doing business golf or at an event, but many times, I’ll have a beer in place of a cocktail. It’s a great way to hydrate a little and pace yourself for the evening. I’ll usually switch to wine for dinner, but instead of a martini or a Manhattan, a beer is an acceptable approach.
Beer has been brewed for thousands of years, back to the Beowulf days of mead. This beverage has lots of variations and modifications, only limited by brewmaster creativity, but I am going to hit just the top types of beer you’ll run into (and want to taste).
The most basic wine knowledge involves an understanding of a very limited set of what are called Noble Grapes or International Varietals.
These are the grapes that make the dominant proportion of fine wines around the world. This is partially because these grapes are hardy enough to grow in most wine climates and they happen to make some pretty excellent juice. Now, this set of 7 grapes is just scratching the surface of grapes used to make great wine. We could easily add another dozen popular grapes. Even at 20 grapes, realize that Italy alone has over 1000 indigenous grapes that are used to make wine, so it depends how far you want to extend your knowledge. For now, it’s going to be 7 grapes.
One of the more uncomfortable situations is when you are at
a dinner and the host hands you the wine list and asks you to pick. This usually happens when you are the guest
of honor, and even more complex, when in a foreign country. This is fraught with risk. It’s very easy to embarrass yourself or your
host with an inappropriate selection. The
biggest risk is around getting a bottle at an acceptable price.
It’s a question as old as screw caps (corks have been around a while). And the simple answer is – it depends. Let’s dig into the differences because despite some technical issues, so wines are just better in one or the other. Ultimately, it’s a winemaker choice.
One of the most commonly misused words when people order wine is “Sweet”. When wine people say a wine is sweet, they mean that there is residual sugar in the wine, in other words, not all the grape juice has been converted into alcohol. This is a winemaker choice. When a diner asks for sweet wine, they normally mean fruity, lots of juicy fruit on the nose and palate.