While 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.
The 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.
The second rule is to match what your date is drinking. If they’re not drinking, neither are you. If they say they only want a single glass, so will you. Now, if your date is open to splitting a bottle of wine, then it’s totally appropriate to go for it. Frankly, a drinker and a non-drinker might have a hard time over the long term, so this might be a compatibility item for both of you.
In terms of what to order, you can try to pick something based on what your date thinks they might be eating or what they typically like to drink. This can be a way to get to know each other and maybe share a story or two. Another option is to call over the sommelier to offer their advice. This actually can signal to your date that you are a smart purchaser of wine in that you aren’t afraid to ask a pro for some advice.
If you go it alone, pick a bottle in the middle of the price range on the wine list; it shouldn’t be too cheap or expensive if you want to send the right message. Spending too much up front can come across as ostentatious. And grabbing a $15 bargain bottle might be thrifty, but it might mean there isn’t another date too.
Pro tip: The Perfect Date Dinner Order
I know friends who when they go out on a dinner date, they like to keep things simple. They’ll order two appetizers and split an entre—and then order a half bottle of wine to split. That means they each get about 1.5 glasses of good wine combined with just enough food to make you happy.