A Twenty-Something's Guide to Choosing Wine
As a twenty-something who knows very little about wine (read: dangerously close to “absolutely nothing"), I’m unable tell you about the notes, aromas, or hints of anything in a glass or bottle. And to be completely honest, I don’t like majority of wines. I’ve tried a ton of different wines—from expensive and “crisp,” to the traditional girls’ night $7 bottle of Barefoot in college—and still can’t tell you the difference.
Cooper’s Hawk “Romance Red” or “Ice Wine” usually tend to be my drink of choice if I go there, but even just half a glass will do it for me. I’m just not into it, or drinking at all for that matter. Maybe one day I’ll get into wine and learn about it, but it’s not now.
So why is this important?
One thing my parents always taught me is to never show up empty handed to a party. This includes a dinner party, birthday, housewarming—you name it. So naturally, as I become more of an experienced twenty-something, I’m deciding to trade in the usual bottle of vodka for an ever-so-sophisticated bottle of wine.
But Tiffany, your wine knowledge isn’t pristine!
You’re right. It’s not. But I am very good at picking out the pretty (i.e. Insta-worthy) bottles. So that’s exactly what I do.
Here’s why this works: When showing up to another twenty-somethings house with a bottle of wine, it’s very likely that they also don’t know much about wine, so I just bring a bottle that looks pretty. End result? I look like the classy trendy friend.
Clearly you’re still interested in figuring out how to be the classy trendy friend or you wouldn’t be reading this. Well, maybe you’re just confused and curious, I don’t know. Regardless, I’ve named some of my go-to wine bottles below and wrote a little bit about them. For me, it’s importance to read your potential crowd when selecting a cute wine to bring, so that’s why I’ve listed some options.
If you don’t like many wines, sparkling wines are the way to go. It tastes almost like that sparkling grape juice your family would get you when you were younger (those were the days), just more of an adult version. These Verdi sparkling wines tend to be more fruity, and taste a lot better cold. Impress your peers and ask if there’s somewhere to chill it when you arrive (basically put it on ice or in the fridge). The best thing about these wines is that they look super cute, and come in a variety of flavors. Strawberry, raspberry, green apple, and peach—just to name a few. If you’re feeling bold, go ahead and bring a flavor. I’d recommend the Rosa for girls’ night (of course) and the peach for fall occasions (the colors on the label will most likely match the decor).
Ideal Occasions: party with fellow 20-somethings, girls’ night, Friendsgiving, holiday parties, night with the ‘gram friends.
If you’re going to that friend’s dinner party who always has the more chic Pinterest boards and all-white Instagram theme, bring this wine. It is the most clean and feminine looking bottle. It features a white label with modern font and a classic black bow graphic. I promise you: this friend will appreciate it. She wants to take a few photos to post, and letting her make a post with this wine saying, “Had the BEST dinner party! Such a lovely night. I can’t get over how perfectly ____’s bottle of wine matched the centerpiece.” It sounds weird, but we’re in the digital age and you know that reading that faux caption sounded way too familiar.
Ideal Occasions: housewarming party, dinner party, birthday.
The. Ultimate. Girls’. Night. Wine. It’s funny, clean-looking, and definitely will lead to all the “white girl wasted” captions on everyone’s snapchat stories. I’ve actually tried this one before, and it’s pretty good by my standards. For added humor at family events, bring the brand’s other wine, a pino grigio, named “Family Time is Hard.” These wines are witty, and are definitely there to start some conversations and get the room laughing.
Ideal Occasions: relaxed family dinners, girls’ night, bachelorette party, pregame, lighthearted family holidays.
If you’ve read my 36 Hours in NYC post, you already know that I’m OBSESSED with this wine. It’s literally blue and tastes like juice. I’m a big fan. I want Blumond to sponsor any event I ever throw (kidding, but not) because it’s so f-ing amazing. I first had it at a launch party for an app that helps influencers/bloggers and brands. If you’re event throwing an event, going somewhere where you don’t know many people, or just want to spice up a fun party, bring this wine (…actually, maybe bring two bottles). Whoever you pour a glass for will say something along the lines of, “Ooh it’s blue?! I can’t wait to try it.”
Ideal Occasions: ANY. Even bringing this to meet your significant other’s parents might help to break the ice if you need to.
Alright, that’s all I have for you right now. Those are the 4 wines that I usually turn to when going to different social events. In the long run, no twenty-something will judge you on the value of wine you bring, but I always think it’s fun to pick a pretty one that starts a conversation. I hope this post helped you a bit (or at least made you smile). Comment on my corresponding Instagram post and let me know which one you’re bringing to your next occasion! Cheers!