Planning a date night at home? Just because you can wear pyjamas and crack open a cheap bottle of grog, doesn’t mean you have to (although those pjs sound pretty comfy). Instead, choose your drop wisely and be rewarded with a night full of depth rather than headache-inducing disappointment.
Here are our top tips for picking the best wine for a romantic night at home.
1. Know what you love and what you hate.
Just because someone rates a bottle of wine, doesn’t mean you do. Same goes for variety, and price, too. Choosing the best wine for date night, ultimately, comes down to personal preference. Not sure what your date prefers? Just ask! Communication is the key to any good relationship wine selection and, if anything, your partner will find your consideration of their preferences flattering. (Surely that’ll score you some brownie points.)
2. Consult the menu.
Do consult the home chef before you rush out and buy “that white they like”. It’s important to match the wine to the meal, not the meal to the wine: you don’t want pair a glass of full-bodied red with a fish main, or bubbles with a Vindaloo. Trust us, we’ve tried. What wine does pair well with fish and Vindaloo? Find out here.
3. Enlist help.
Know that your date likes “real champagne”, but don’t know what it is yourself? If you’re in doubt, ask for help. The team at your local liquor store know a thing or two about booze (after all, they’re surrounded by it) so why not ask their opinion and/or suggestions? They’ll know what’s trending, what’s the store’s best drops and what to avoid. Close enough to a cellar door? Relay points one and two above to the sommelier and they’ll do the rest.
If you’ve just spent a small fortune on a fine wine, don’t waste it by forgetting to decant it. For the uninitiated, decanting means to gradually pour a liquid from one container into another to aerate it and to filter out any sediment left in the bottle. The result – a sediment-free wine with elevated flavours. Make the most of your vino by letting it breathe* at least 30 minutes prior to drinking.
5. The Lake House date night fail safes.
Doing things last minute and need some expert advice, like, now? When it comes to romancing your flame, we suggest opting for a Cabernet Merlot. Its elegant, smooth taste pairs with most foods and is very easy to sip. For those that like a splash of maturity, try a well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon, and if you’re celebrating something special, do start with a glass – or two – of champagne.
*Don’t decant bubbles unless you want a glass of non-sparkling sparkling.