Drinks

Pick the perfect wine for date night

May 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM ET

Wining and dining that special someone? Ray Isle, executive wine editor of Food & Wine magazine, shares his tips and picks for the perfect date sips.

First date

Choose something you know well, so you've got something to talk about. For instance, a wine from a winery you've visited before (though not with an old girlfriend or boyfriend), so you've got a story to tell. For instance, I chose this wine because when I was first getting into the wine business, I worked a couple of harvests at the winery.

Wine: 2010 Clos La Chance Monterey County Chardonnay

Casual date

Go for a great value wine, but not something so well known that she (or he) will know you're a total cheapskate-in other words, skip the Yellowtail. Why not rosé (from the south of France). It's like taking her (or him) on a trip to Provence.

Wine: 2011 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleu Rosé

Hot Date

For that really hot date, you want something suggestive, but not crass. Choose a wine that's a little racy, but in a fun way.

Wine: 2009 Alexander Valley Vinyards Temptation Zinfandel

Special date

You have to go with Champagne. It's the definition of romance, plus if you're doing something like getting engaged, you ought to drink something fancy.

Wine: 2004 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

Date-night date

OK, now you're married, you have kids, but you still have a regular date night. What you want is something nice, not cheap but not crazily expensive, and not overwhelmingly high alcohol, since after all you're going to have to get up early to get the kids to school in the morning. Plus, if could be something meaningful, so much the better-I chose this red wine from Sicily because it's actually where my wife and I went on our honeymoon.

Wine: 2010 Valle Dell'Acate Frappato

Tell us, what are your favorite picks for date wines?

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