Nothing says, “I’m an adult,” like knowing about wine. I’m not taking about being a stuffy wine snob, I mean being a fun classy lady who knows how to order at a restaurant or pick out a bottle to bring to a friend’s house.
I chatted with Tyler Balliet the founder and president of the Second Glass, “the unpretentious badass source for baller wine info.” He helped me figure out 5 things every grown woman should know about wine:
1. Which Wine to Bring to a Dinner Party
This is what I assume all dinner parties look like. The older you get, the more dinner parties you will find yourself invited to and asking the host, “What can I bring?” And they’ll usually say “Nothing! Just yourself!” Which is a lie. They want you to bring wine. So you’ll find yourself lost in the wine section unsure of what pairs well with their mystery dinner. “Look for a Pinot Noir from Chile, Oregon or New Zealand,” Tyler suggests. “It’s light enough to go with fish, but also heavy enough to pair with a steak. It’s basically the Skelton key of wine.” You had me at Skelton key.
Suggestion: Oyster Bay Pinot Noir – $15
2. How to Find The Right Bubbly for Brunch
I recently had a mimosa mishap. I grabbed the least expensive bottle from the fridge section en route to a brunch. It wasn’t until I took my first sip that I realized the champagne I brought was super sweet and when paired with orange juice, it was almost undrinkable. I later noticed the bottle had the words “dolce” on it, which if my 8th grade Spanish knowledge serves me correctly means, “sweet.” To avoid this mimosa mistake, Tyler suggests looking for a bottle that says “brut” on it which means dry, like a Cava, because the dryer the bubbly, the better the mimosa. Also if you can, try to use fresh squeezed orange juice or better yet the juice of an orange (you can really taste the difference). He also recommends trying to keep the mimosa ratio to 80% bubbly to 20% juice.
Suggestion: Freixenet Carta Negro Brut – $12
3. How to Find Drinkable Wines In A Convenience Store
We’ve all been there. You’re running late to a friend’s place and, crap! You forgot to bring the bottle of wine you promised. And the only places on the way are Bodegas and 7-11s. Well don’t worry, here’s how you can find drinkable wine at a convenience store. “For a white, go for a Sauvignon Blanc, it’s almost impossible to get a bad one and for a red go for a Malbec from Argentina. Pretty much every store will have it, I’ve never had a bad one.” Good to know!
4. Picking Out A Good Bottle For A Date
All dates look like this, right?
I’m sure you’ve had this happen. You’re on a date at a restaurant and you decide to get a bottle of wine. He slides the wine list to you and smiles, “you pick.” You panic. What now?! If you pick the least expensive you’ll look cheap. If you pick the most expensive you’ll look like a gold-digger. Guys like white wine, right? Ugh! Help!
Tyler recommends a California Zinfandel, which he calls a “burly man’s wine.” Guys tend to love the bold juicy flavor of a good Zin (which can pair well with steak), and girls seem to be fans because it’s fruity, making it the perfect date wine. Not to mention Zins tend to have a higher alcohol content which can never hurt on a date, especially if it’s a first one.
Suggestion: 2011 Rock Wall Wine Co. Monte Rosso Reserve Zinfandel – $32
5. Where to Find a Fun Wine Event So You Can Learn More About Wine
Two words: Wine. Riot.
Tyler’s company The Second Glass, throws this super fun event called Wine Riot across the country, and it’s coming to Los Angeles THIS WEEKEND (5/9/-5/10). This isn’t your typical wine event, there’s a DJ, photo booth, temporary tattoos and you can taste over 250 wines from all over the world, including the suggestions above. You can also learn more about wine with interactive booths and crash courses. They even made a promo code for HelloGiggles Readers! Use the code “HelloGiggles” you can get $10 off tickets! If you’re not in the LA area, check out their website for Wine Riot near you.
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