The Ultimate First Date Wine Guide

So you’re on a first date! (Or you’re about to be.) And you’ve discovered they like wine! Maybe you don’t know much about wine, or maybe you’re just paralyzed with indecision.

Don’t worry.

We are basically hardwired to feel like awkward doofuses on a first date. But why give nature any help? I went ahead and built the ultimate guide to first date wines so you can find something quick and go back to agonizing over whether your outfit is okay. (Please relax, you look great.)

The Ultimate First Date Wine Guide

Whether you’re cooking at home or going out for dinner or a cocktail, your wine selection is going to set the tone of your first evening together. The best way to pick a wine is to decide who you’re dealing with. Hopefully you have at least an idea of their personality. (If not, why are you going out with them? Standards, people!)

For the flirt

Fun personalities like a wine that’s just as fun as they are. Choose a surprising rosé for this first date. With rosé’s recent revival, you’ll have plenty of choices, but for this personality type I recommend going off the beaten track. Bubbles, intense colours and very dry varieties can elevate this girls’ night staple to a refreshing break from routine.

Try:

Voga Sparkling Rose of Pinot Grigio bottle

Voga Sparkling Rose of Pinot Grigio

This tastes like rhubarb and crisp apple, which never happens.

Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon Rose

Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon Rose

Part of my last wine and book pairing, this nearly neon pink wine has a surprisingly deep red fruit note.

Birds and Bees Winery Little Flirt Rhubarb Wine

Birds & Bees Winery Little Flirt Rhubarb Wine

Always go full rhubarb. (Or, how to really lean in to being different and interesting.)

For the adventure seeker

Did you bond over your mutual love of travel or whitewater rafting before you made your move? Adventure seekers love novelty, so keep it fresh with an orange wine, like Pinot Grigio Ramato.

Orange wines come from leaving the skins in contact with white wine grapes for a while after juicing. These copper-coloured wines are an adventurous twist on a basic white, and some people say they’re even better. (Some people might be me.) Although orange wines have an ancient history, they’re still relatively uncommon, so you can look like a trendsetter.

Try:

Pinot Grigio Ramato Dal Cero bottle

Dal Cero Pinot Grigio Ramato

This is bucket list wine, right here.

For the bookish

For a book nerd, the only thing better than a really old library is a wine that smells like one. If you’ve been trading your desert island book picks on Tinder, notes of leather, tobacco and spice might be just the thing.

For this particular combo, look outside the noble grapes to deep, dark reds like Cabernet Franc, Tannat or

Try:

Winemakers Series Meritage by Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Winemakers Series Meritage

If wine could be a professor with elbow patches, it would be this sage and pepper blend.

Logo for Kenneth Volk wines

Kenneth Volk Tannat

A wine described as “macho” with “iron-fisted tannins”, this Tannat packs a very Father’s office”- style punch. Kinky.

Pinot Noir by Nk'mip Winery in Osoyoos, B.C.

Nk’mip Pinot Noir

Intense, hot, with deep raspberry and spice notes, this is a very unique Pinot Noir that redefines the varietal.

For the sports fan 

This could go one of two ways – either you pick wine from your date’s favourite athlete, or you pick one by someone they hate with the burning intensity of a thousand suns. Honestly, it’s a cute wedding anecdote no matter what happens. Your move. (Get it? Because sports? I’ll show myself out.)

I picked all whites for this category in case your sports enthusiast is usually a beer drinker and shies away from darker grapes.

Try:

Pinot Grigio by Mario Andretti, auto racer

(Mario) Andretti Napa Valley Pinot Grigio

The career auto racer has a winery! Who knew?

Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Riesling

Wayne Gretzky Estates Riesling

Yup, No. 99 has a winery too. This is 100% palatable for people who don’t usually drink wine, but not a lazy effort like a lot of celebrity wines.

Doubleback Chardonnay bottle

(Drew Bledsoe) Doubleback Chardonnay

I am told this man did the football and won a Super Bowl. Also, he has a fine Chardonnay!

For the music lover 

Match their musical tastes with a mellow red that won’t compete with the vinyl on the record player or the EDM beats on the Bluetooth speaker. Whatever their musical tastes, these even-handed wines are perfect for Spotify and chill.

Try:

Yalumba Coonawara Cabernet Sauvignon

Yalumba Coonawara Cabernet Sauvignon

Just the perfect blend of easy drinking and interesting.

Chateau de Carles 2015 Bordeaux

Château de Carles Bordeaux

For those with a mineral fixation, this Bordeaux delivers the goods of French soil.
(If you’ve never heard of minerality, did you ever lick a rock and like it? That’s minerality.)

I hope this guide to first date wine puts you in the running for true love. Don’t forget to toast me with something good every anniversary.