How To Choose Restaurant Wine: Impress Your Date

Top 5 Tips for Choosing Wine on Valentine’s Day:

Across the UK, partners are gearing up to take their loved ones out for a special meal this Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a blossoming romance or a love story many years in the making, going the extra mile can make all the difference. If you’re looking to impress your date with your wine knowledge, you’re in the right place. The task of navigating a restaurant wine list can often feel like decoding an ancient manuscript, but mastering this art is your secret weapon. With a bit of savvy and a few insider tips, you can turn this daunting task into an opportunity to showcase your wine expertise.

Many of us have felt daunted by a restaurant’s wine list at one point or another. Having lived in London and constantly juggling a tight budget, I know the temptation to skim the bottom of the list for the most wallet-friendly options. However, as a now-qualified wine expert, I’ve learned that a little insight and understanding the layout, recognising the styles of wine that pair well with your chosen dishes, and not being afraid to ask for recommendations can turn wine selection from a guessing game into a surefire way to impress. Remember, a well-chosen wine not only enhances the flavours of your meal but also adds a layer of thoughtfulness and sophistication to your date, proving that you’ve gone the extra mile to ensure the evening is memorable.

Here are my top 5 tips for choosing a restaurant wine this Valentine’s Day that will leave your date in awe. Embrace the wine list with confidence, and prepare to dazzle your date with your discerning choice.

1. Pair Wine with Your Meal:

The essence of a good wine choice lies in its pairing with your meal. Gone are the days when I’d pick a bottle solely for value, overlooking the harmony between wine and dish. Light dishes pair beautifully with wines that boast high acidity and citrus flavours, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. For creamier or heavier dishes, opt for a wine with a fuller body, reminiscent of semi-skimmed milk or light cream in texture. Remember, sweet wines are a must for dessert to complement, not clash with, the sweetness. This approach means you get to taste more delicious wines from the restaurant list.

2. Use The Expert for Wine List Navigation

Don’t shy away from asking questions about the wine menu, no matter how basic they may seem. Curiosity is the compass that leads to discovery. Want to know more about the grape, the region, or why a particular wine pairs well with your dish? Ask away. Sommeliers and wine experts love to share their knowledge, debunk myths, and sometimes, they might even surprise you with a story or two about the wine you’re about to enjoy.

3. Navigate The Wine List by Region:

Align your wine choice with the cuisine. French dishes? Go for French wines. Opting for Greek? Explore indigenous grape varieties. This approach ensures that the wine complements the meal, enhancing the overall dining experience. Think about if you want to be having wine in the first place? If you’re dining on Indian cuisine, which may pair better with beer, or Japanese, where sake might go better with the food. Remember, what grows together goes together!

4. Don’t Overlook The House Wine On The Wine List:

Skip the house wine? You might as well skip dessert! This unsung hero is handpicked to vibe with the menu, making it the insider’s choice for a top-notch pairing without the hefty price tag. It’s like uncovering a hidden treasure – savvy, smart, and perfectly suited to elevate your meal without breaking the bank.

5. Enjoy the Process Of Choosing Your Restaurant Wine:

Wine selection should be fun and educational. Start with a glass before committing to a bottle to explore different varieties. And remember, for every glass of wine, a glass of water can help pace the evening and keep the conversation flowing smoothly.


As we toast to the article’s end, remember that the journey into wine is as much about discovery as it is about romance. Choosing the right wine this Valentine’s isn’t just about impressing; it’s about sharing a moment, a taste, and an experience that lingers long after the glasses are empty. So here’s to love, laughter, and a wine selection that tells a story as unique as your own. If you are not heading out this Valentine’s Day I recommend ordering one of our hampers, we have done the choosing for you and don’t forget to send flowers, Freddie’s Flowers are my favourite!

Cheese, Wine and Wine Bottle Illustration

What people say

“Jess was incredibly knowledgeable, passionate, and made the tasting an educational and enjoyable experience. Her professionalism added an extra layer of appreciation to every sip.”

Amy Anton

“This was a fantastic experience. The wine and cheese were paired to perfection and I learned a lot too! Jessica was very knowledgeable and made it a really fun evening. 5 stars – would recommend!”

Jack Byrne

“I ordered hampers for corporate gifts and they were extremely well received, with many of the recipients stating it was the best hamper they had ever been given. Great selection of cheese and wine and Jess was extremely helpful with placing the orders.”

Sophie Labarthe

“Jess hosted a wine and cheese tasting for my hen party. She brought a range of wines and cheeses which were all stunning, beautifully presented and so well thoughtfully paired. I would totally recommend her and wouldn’t trust anyone else!”

Jennifer Middleton

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