Some people think of first dates as nerve-wrecking. For some first dates, nothing seems to ever go right. The outfit you wear, even if it’s the best one you have, may not seem enough and you may think maybe you could’ve done better.

When it comes the actual date there are also many things that can go wrong, particularly when it comes to ordering wine. If you don’t know squat about wines, this can be a problem especially if you want to leave a good impression on the first date.

So how do you prepare for a date? How do you make sure everything goes well, specifically when it comes to ordering wine?

Here are some useful tips:

1. Pre-date Preparations

Before going out on a date, make sure you make the necessary preparations like being familiar with the different types of wines: white, red, rose, and sparkling; and knowing the basic food and wine pairings: red wine with steak and other pork and beef dishes, white wine with sushi, and dessert wine with cheese.

2. Consider your date’s preference

Your date may have a personal preference when it comes to wine. Before ordering for two, ask your date first what they like. If they pass the baton of ordering to you, then this is where your knowledge in wines will come in handy. One tip to remember: if it’s your date’s first time to try wine, it will be best to start off with an off-dry white wine.

3. Match the wine with the occasion

There are different types of wine that are perfect to use depending on the occasion. White wine for example, will work well for casual evenings. A formal dinner on the other hand will work best with red wine. This will also be good for long conversations. If you in a celebratory mood, sparkling wine would be best.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

If the wine menu is a bit too complex for you, don’t be afraid to ask. The sommelier is the best person to ask about wines. You can tell them what food you are planning to order and they can suggest the most suitable wine that will go with it. Some restaurants also offer a wine-food pairing menu. You can also ask for this to guide you on what to order.

5. Make sure it’s within budget

Some wines are expensive. Check first if the wine you want to order is within your budget. Also make sure the wine that was suggested by the sommelier is well within your means.

6. Follow wine etiquette

If you wish to pour the wine for your date, remember not to fill the glass up to the rim. For red wines it should only be filled one-third full and for white wines it should be half-full. If the sommelier uncorks the wine bottle and pours the wine for you, they will usually pour a small amount unto your glass to give you a chance to taste the wine. Don’t hesitate to reject the wine if it really is not up to your expectations and standards. And like a good beer or a succulent sake, wines should not be devoured in one gulp. Take your time drinking it.

7. Never show off

Never show off to your date what little wine knowledge you have. This may just discourage your date and your aim of seeming intellectual and knowledgeable will turn against you. It’s best not to pretend to be a wine expert when you’re clearly not. Your date may even appreciate your honesty better than your pretentiousness. Also remember that a first date is a good chance for you to get to know your date better. Take this time to talk to your date and find out things about them. Refrain from talking about wines too much.

Following these seven tips will give you the confidence to handle your date properly. Who knows this one date may go out as planned and may work out for both of you. Being prepared is the key to a good first date. Knowing your wine and knowing how to order wine during the date – this will show your date you’ve come prepared for your first meeting.

By Debra Wright

Debra Wright is a creative and innovative blogger and online marketing specialist. She uses her wordsmith skills to share her ideas, thoughts, and tips to other people about topics that fascinate her, such as food and beverages. Follow Debra on twitter @debrawrites

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