10. Body Language
A major component to any con is
Pick that wine list off the table or grab
that bottle off the shelf and start
looking it over confidently.
• Aroma=the smell
• Acidity/Acidic=tartness. Think lemon, lime,
grapefruit, blueberries. and cranberries.
• Dry=Not sweet. Sometimes on bottles of
champagne and sparkling wine you’ll see
the word “Brut;” it means the same thing.
• Tannin(s)/Tannic=astringency. If you’ve
ever had a cup of tea that steeped too long,
then you know what tannins are.
• Vintage=the year that grapes were
harvested. As in “2005 was a great vintage.”
• Balance=the overall unity of the flavors.
8. Opt to Decant
If you’re part of a large group and wine
is flowing freely, skip this step.
But in almost every other scenario,
decanting is rarely a bad idea. Most
wines improve as they are exposed to
air, which is why you do all of that
swirling and slurping.
Decanting, the act of transferring the
wine from its original bottle into
another vessel before serving, helps
expedite this process.
It’s less common to decant white wine.
7. Interact with your glass
When you first receive a glass, hold it by the
stem, tilt it away from you, and observe the
color of the wine.
Gently swirl the wine in the glass by making
small circles with you wrist; be careful not to
overdo this motion and end up spilling wine.
If anyone asks why you're doing this, tell them
it’s to help the wine open up.
Take a small sip of the wine, and while holding it
in your mouth, gently suck in a bit of air. This
action will make a slight slurping sound—this
is done to pass more air through the wine
helping it to release more of its flavors.
You don’t have to do this with every sip, but you
should do it with the first.
6. Know random facts
Bring a bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne
Blanc de Blanc to a party and explain
that while it’s made the same way as
Champagne and uses one of the grapes
found in Champagne, because it’s from
a different region it’s classified
You need to have a few of these up your
sleeves, lest you come off as a one
5. Judge a Book By Its Cover
(To a Degree)
If you happen to be in a situation where you can
see the bottle you’re drinking from (or about to
drink from); you can make some snap
judgments on the label alone.
For example, if the bottle that you’re about to
drink has a black and white label with a
drawing of a grape cluster and cursive writing,
you could comment on how the wine is fruity
On the other hand, if the label is colorful with an
animal image on it, the wine might be fun or
easy to drink.
Or, if there’s calligraphic writing and a coat of
arms on the label, you could assume (and
announce) that's it's serious and traditional.
4. If You Can’t Pronounce It,
Don’t Order It
This is a surefire way to show that you
don’t know what you’re ordering.
Amongst the many reasons why
Merlot, Malbec, and Chardonnay are
more popular than Falanghina or
Blaufränkish is the ease of
pronouncing the names.
By persuading another (especially
someone who is particularly versed
with wine) to start a dialogue, you can
take their commentary and improve on
By agreeing with someone’s opinion and
expanding on it, now officially making
it your opinion, that very person is
more inclined to agree with you and
endorse your “wine expertise.”
2. Consider the Situation at
Are you surrounded by a group of
wine savvy people, or is it just one
or two? Better yet, are you around
people that don’t know much about
The more knowledgeable your
company is, the more you want them
to talk, giving you the opportunity to
reshape their commentary.
1. Keep Something in the
Don’t use every wine term you
learned, name every grape you can
think of, and voice your three bits of
esoteric information in the first five
This will make you appear like you’re
scrambling to look knowledgeable.
Instead, give a little and take a little,
but keep something in reserve.