How to Wine and Dine a Man: Impress with the Perfect Evening



Why You Need To Understand Wine

When we aim to impress with our wine choices, knowledge is key.

Understanding the complexities of wine, from selection to serving, improves the dining experience for everyone involved.

Selecting the Right Wine

What does quality actually mean when we’re sorting through our options?

A rule of thumb for beginners is to match the wine with the occasion and the meal.

Hearty dishes pair well with full-bodied red wines like cabernet sauvignon or merlot.

Lighter meals like seafood or salads complement white wine selections like sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.

Don’t overlook the vintage; the quality of the wine is often reflected by the year the grapes were harvested.

Wine Tasting Etiquette

How do we approach wine tasting?

Remember, it’s about the senses.

Use a clear wine glass and start by observing the color and clarity.

Swirl gently to release the wine’s aroma.

Take a small sip, savor the acidity and tannins, and let the wine tell its story. Each has unique notes and finishes, whether a bold red wine or a crisp riesling.

Decoding the Wine List

Encountering a wine list can be daunting.

Where should we begin?

Start by identifying the types of wine you enjoy. Do you prefer red wine with greater tannins or a white wine with a zesty acidity?

Look for wine descriptions that match these preferences. Aspects like “oak-aged,” “full-bodied,” or “crisp finish” can guide your choice. High quality doesn’t always mean high price, so consider a mid-range option to balance cost and quality.

Storing and Serving Temperatures

Why does temperature matter?

Serving wine at the right temperature can dramatically affect the taste and enjoyment.

White wines flourish when chilled between 45-50°F, while red wines are best served slightly cooler than room temperature, around 60-65°F.

If a wine is corked, remove it at least 30 minutes before serving to let it breathe, especially for full-bodied red wines with robust tannins.

Dining Essentials

When approaching the art of “wining and dining” a man, it’s crucial that we select the right restaurant, master table manners, navigate the menu efficiently, and pair food and drink appropriately.

These cornerstones set the stage for an impeccable dining experience.

Choosing the Restaurant

Why settle for anything less than a perfect setting? Whether it’s a steakhouse that offers the finest cuts of meat or a cozy bistro with a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, the restaurant we choose should match the style and ambiance we aim for.

Consider an expense that aligns with the occasion – a cheap eatery may be apt for a casual meet. At the same time, an expensive dinner at a fine dining establishment might better suit a special celebration.

Mastering Table Manners

Have you ever wondered where to place the napkin or when to start eating (we have)?

As soon as we sit down, place the napkin in our lap. Let’s not touch our silverware until everyone has received their appetizer, setting the pace for a harmonious meal.

Remember: dining etiquette, like the predetermined usage of utensils from the outside in, reflects our knowledge and consideration for others.

Navigating the Menu

Navigating the menu should be like charting a map to a treasure trove of flavors. We start with appetizers – light enough to stir our appetite without overshadowing the main course.

Transitioning to the main course, our choices might range from a heartwarming, rustic meal to an exotic culinary adventure. Optionally, we can indulge in dessert to conclude our experience on a sweet note (remember to match the flavor profile!!).

Pairing Food and Drink

What elevates a meal from good to unforgettable?

The right pairing of food and drink.

Meat dishes often harmonize with robust red wines, while fish or lighter fare may call for a crisp white. Should we not know the best pairings, let’s not hesitate to ask for someone’s advice – they’re there to enhance our meal with their expertise in restaurant etiquette.

Making an Impression

When we aim to impress a man, it is about the attention to detail in our dress, the quality of hosting, the depth of conversation, and the ambiance we create.

Dress and Presentation

What do we wear to capture attention without saying a word? Selecting attire that is both flattering and appropriate to the occasion is vital.

For formal dining, we opt for a stylish dress code, adhering to a level of sophistication that reflects our respect for the event and our guests.

Hosting with Class

How do we set the stage for a memorable evening?

We showcase our etiquette and culture as hosts by preparing a clean and well-organized space. Using quality tableware and ensuring the area is conducive to dining speaks volumes.

If wine is involved, we choose a bottle with an understanding of our guest’s preferences, maybe even learning how to read a wine label to add to the experience.

Engaging Conversation

How do we keep the conversation flowing naturally? It’s about finding common ground and showing genuine interest in his thoughts and opinions.

We educate ourselves on various topics to ensure that our discussion is as enriching as it is engaging.

Creating a Romantic Atmosphere

What elements contribute to a romantic mood?

Subtle lighting, soft music, and a personal touch like a handwritten note or a thoughtful gesture all create an intimate setting. These details can transform a simple dinner into a night to remember.

Beverage Alternatives

When planning the perfect dinner, choosing the right beverages is as essential as the menu.

We’ll guide you through selecting non-wine options that can pair perfectly with your meal and delightful after-dinner drinks that round off the evening smoothly.

Exploring Non-Wine Options

Why limit ourselves to wine when great non-alcoholic drinks can elevate a meal just as beautifully?

Consider drinks like Cascal, which offers fermented sodas made from fruit juice, providing a sophisticated twist to the classic soda without the alcohol.

For those who appreciate the beer-drinking ceremony, various non-alcoholic beers replicate the taste and experience.

If you wish to keep the bubbly aspect, sparkling water infused with fruit or herbs is a refreshing choice.

Here’s a quick glance at some options:

  • Sparkling Beverages: Light, sparkling drinks meant to mimic the effervescence of champagne.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beers: Brews without the buzz for a beer-like experience.
  • Infused Waters: Sparkling or still water with a twist of lemon, lime, or cucumber for a subtle, refreshing flavor.

After-Dinner Beverages

What should we serve after the main course to continue the night on a high note?

For a classic touch, coffee remains the go-to option. A rich, dark roast can be the perfect palate cleanser and energy booster.

But what if coffee is too heavy? Perhaps a light tea with fruit flavor or a mocktail can provide a playful yet colorful end to the meal. Like those by Curious Elixir, Booze-free cocktails can add a unique and memorable twist.

  • Coffee: A bold espresso or a creamy latte to satisfy coffee lovers.
  • Herbal Teas: Mint or chamomile for soothing digestion.
  • Mocktails: Experiment with ingredients like pomegranate juice or spicy ginger for a non-alcoholic treat with flair.

Social Etiquette

man drinking wine on a date

Mastering social etiquette is crucial when we wine and dine.

It’s about more than just manners; it’s about making others feel valued and creating a comfortable atmosphere.

Let’s explore the subtleties of restaurant etiquette and the importance of appreciation and politeness.

Restaurant Etiquette

When dining out, do we know which fork to use first or how to pour wine properly?

Restaurant etiquette begins the moment we step into the venue. We make sure to RSVP, if required, to secure our reservation.

Upon arrival, a small gift, already knowing which bottle of wine you will purchase, can set a confident tone for the evening.

Remember, this is your time to shine!

Table Setting

  • Use utensils from the outside in.
  • Place the napkin on our lap upon seating.

During the Meal

  • Say “excuse me” when leaving the table.
  • Engage in pleasant conversation; avoid sensitive topics.

Wine Etiquette

  • Remember to swirl our glass gently, sniff the bouquet, and taste.
  • Always serve others before filling our own glass.

Expressing Gratitude

  • A heartfelt “thank you” after the meal and service goes a long way.
  • Waiting for both parties to have their food before beginning.
  • Ordering appetizers to curve any hunger you and your man could have.


  • 15-20% of the bill is standard in many places, but we should always check local customs.

Service Interaction

  • Use “please” when making requests.
  • Acknowledge the service team’s effort with a polite nod or smile.