Navigating the Wine List

We love to drink wine, but as much as we hate to admit it, we do get a little intimidated by those wine menus that are the size of the Manhattan Yellow Pages.

Well guess what? We are supposed to laugh at those mammoth size books. That’s what our new best friend Maureen Petrovsky told us. (Maureen is the author of The Wine Club and the one who knows what wine to drink with a PB&J.) “99 percent of people have no idea what’s in those books. It’s ridiculous that that’s what they give you for what’s supposed to be a good night out. My best advice: Attack it with a sense of humor.”

It gets better from there! Maureen gives us permission to order the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu without blushing. “It’s the restaurant’s responsibility to only have good wines on their list. So the cheapest bottle should still be a good bottle, and if it’s not, blame the restaurant, not your budget.” Rock on!

Maureen does recommend asking the bartender or sommelier for advice on their particular wine list. But don’t hand over all control. Her advice:

1. Give the bartender/sommelier as much info about you as possible—what you want to spend, what you are eating, what styles of wine you like and do NOT like.

2. Set a price limit, by pointing out a bottle on the list that’s in the range of what you want to spend.

3. Don’t order wine before deciding what to eat, even if you’re asked prior to deciding on your menu. Let what you’re eating dictate what wine to order.

4. Order with the seasons. Change up the wine you drink with wardrobe. If it’s a gorgeous warm spring day, a light flirty white wine is a better option that a big heavy red.

Drinks anyone?

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