Wine Bar 101

Terrior Wine BarLong lines, cheap drinks, thirsty dudes…that’s that ish I don’t like! These days, the club is the last place I want to spend my Saturday night…or any night for that matter. Call me bougie, but there’s something about being in a room full of randoms poppin’ bottles and showing off the latest twerk team moves that just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. (Okay, okay…I was never really about that life.) Instead, my ideal evening includes wine and good conversation with friends at a wine bar. Yes, wine bars have become my new turn up spot. #myturnupisclassy.

I realize that ordering wine can be intimidating and at times overwhelming, especially in a public setting. When in doubt, I’d use my “pick and point” method to order wine. Just pick whatever wine “sounded” good and then point to it on the menu if I didn’t know how to pronounce it correctly. #mrsmetoo if you can relate!

I visited a couple of wine bars in the city (I love doing research for my blog) to uncover some tips on not only choosing the right wine bar, but how to order your wine as well.

Ty’s Takeaways…

  • Staff is Key. First and foremost, you want to choose a wine bar where you can trust the staff is knowledgeable about the wine they are serving. It’s one thing to offer recommendations, but it blows me away when a server starts talking about the history of a wine…where it’s from and how it was made. #winegeek. It adds a level of credibility to the wine bar.
  • Ask Questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know what to order, ask. If you don’t know how to pronounce a particular wine, ask. If you are looking for the right wine to pair with your food, ask. Seriously, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t. How do you expect to grow in your wine journey if you don’t inquire about the things you don’t know?
  • Order by the Style…not by the grape. Many people order by the grape or variety…meaning they’ll order a chardonnay thinking all chardonnays will taste similar based off a good one they had before. Remember different regions make wine differently. So, you can’t expect all chardonnays to taste the same. Instead, get in tune with the flavors you like and order by the style of the wine to determine what to order.
    • Do you like red, white, pink or bubbly?
    • Next, identify if you want the wine to be light or full-bodied? Dry or sweet?
    • Then pull out the F-E-W Test, are you looking for a fruity, wood, or earthy taste?

This information will help your server make a recommendation suitable to your palate..

  • Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. Be willing to try something different. Wine bars have selections that you can’t find at your everyday grocery store. Take advantage of that and try something new. It will definitely help expand your palate. Plus, you never know what you might discover.
  • Give Second Chances. Don’t determine that you don’t like a certain wine based off of one experience. Like I mentioned before, different regions make wine differently. So, just because you didn’t like a Chilean sauvignon blanc, doesn’t mean that you won’t like one from New Zealand.
  • Take Flight. This is my own personal tip, but I think it’s always fun to order a flight of wine when you go to a wine bar. Normally a flight comes with three wines from the same family, but different regions. For example, you’ll have a cab from Italy, California, and Argentina. It’s a great way to sample multiple wines in one sitting.

Remember these tips the next time you’re out at a wine bar. Please share any additional advice you have in the comment section below. Enjoy and…


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