Which wine goes with which first date, from disappointing sex to candlelight convos

Don’t bungle love with a sloppy wine choice


Dating is a minefield of awkward shoulder bumps and eye contact, always walking the fine line between “is this just a bone-sesh?” and “have I met my soulmate?”; asking yourself how likely it is that this special someone will gag while looking at your face. Thankfully, there’s a wine for each occasion, whether you’re sharing it with your perfect date or chugging it back during a hasty exit.

For what we should no longer call the walk of shame. 

You met a rando and then damn dude, you hit it, and maybe you’re gonna quit it (or maybe you’re raring to go back for more). Either way, don’t feel ashamed, feel the “damn I’m on fire” vibes and get your hands on some bubblin’ bubbles as you try to work out the suburb you’re in and where you left your bike. Personally, I’d go for a yeasty bottle of Prosecco (also known as Glera), because if you can’t locate a pastry to jam in your mouth, you should at least enjoy the liquid version. Prosecco is a party animal, a hurrah, and the shower that you deserve and probably need, so take it by the hand and get on home together. 

You’ve probably got some un-dealt with issues around rejection and can’t work out what to do, so you do in fact, nothing. 

Get your mouth around a light red. It might give you liquid courage, and sipping it thoughtfully during what you’ve decided is an awkward silence (it’s probably not) might help to build some kind of bridge. Maybe a Gamay! Yeah, always a Gamay. It’s fun, dumb and a solid crowd pleaser. Say something like “it tastes of strawberry sorbet,” and then you can discuss the fruits of the world, which is always a solid first date topic IMO. Bam, the awkwardness has passed and you’re probably making out now. You’re welcome.

When the sex was terribly awkward and yet you’re still both sitting there. 

Maybe it’s late and you’re far from home, maybe your roommates are having a party you’d rather avoid — either which way, you’ve decided to stay overnight so you need to find a way to laugh it off and acknowledge ya’ll weren’t meant to be. Let’s go a heavier red, fruity yet savoury, bold and a worthy reminder that at least you got out there, gave it a go and you’ll never wonder about the path not taken. So whip out a Cabernet Franc. It’s blackberries meets bell pepper, spicy black peppercorns and smooth crushed blueberries to tie it all together. Who knows, maybe if the wine is right you’ll become buds and this will become a hilarious anecdote you share years from now. 

When it’s genuinely going well and you’re lighting candles and oversharing about your messed up childhoods.

Here you want to tread lightly, because if you’re like me, you’re trying to work out the balance between oversharing and undersharing (I’ve yet to master this) with people you’ve just met. A delicate lil’ white, like vermentino, is where you should be pointing your nose. It’s light bodied but as complex as the parts of your life story that you’re dying to spill. It’s all jumping pear, pink grapefruit, minerally crushed rocks and a slap of lemon zest. It often finishes strong with some bitterness, salt and a whole lot more minerality! No matter what, it’s a grape that’s always authentically itself, and honestly if you do end up going down the overshare route, then you too are a Vermentino!

When it’s a tinder/blind date and at this point you have no way of knowing which way the winds will blow. 

Bring something wacky and wild because it’s a pretty easy conversation starter. A solid here is a Trebbiano, it’s the lightly buzzed wine of the world and it exudes a whole lot of confidence. There’s pineapple, there’s balsamic you want to drink like water and a lusty vibe of honey melons, vacations and white flowers. Even if they aren’t the most wine savvy sort of person, they’ll probably be impressed with your out of the norm selection, and hey, it’s always good to let people know about your razzle dazzle from the get go. 

When you’re not going on a date but want a date.

Really, whatever wine you want, just make it bangable. 

Share this article