The First Date
In order to simplify the discussion of the first date I am going to make the following assumptions.
You are the male. You have issued the invitation to a female. You have decided to go to a restaurant for dinner. You are going to plan this carefully and let the rest of the evening take care of itself by following your instincts and manners.
Since we are going to concentrate on how we go about selecting the wine for the first date it needs some careful thought.
It is possible that you know her well enough to already know what wine she prefers or most often drinks.
If this is not the case it may be possible to bring it up during conversation beforehand. Obviously one has to be careful to be subtle enough so that it doesn’t become embarrassing.
The best way, in my lengthy experience, is to talk about wine at some point prior to the invitation to dinner and the date. This way when you order her preferred wine she will be impressed. However, if you kind of use a questionnaire before hand about wine, food, dress, where etc you will not make a favorable impression at all, you will just sound indecisive and weak.
The Restaurant
Obviously you have a lot of things to consider when it comes to a restaurant. You will know what sort of girl she is to some extent. Hopefully she won’t be the sort that wants to go to a trendy and consequently noisy place for dinner.
My advice is middle of the road. Make sure you have been to the restaurant yourself and hopefully someone there, like the host or owner will remember you.
For me the ideal place is a nice moderate restaurant where it is quiet enough to carry on a private conversation easily and without competition from either the room, the other diners or the music.
Be sure to dress nicely but hopefully your choice will fall into the area of smart casual.
The Wine
One thing that I have often done which seems to work quite well is when presented with the menu go through the normal discussions until you and she have decided on what you are going to eat exactly and how many courses etc.
After this bit, which can be quite fun, I often call the waiter over and always order for both of us, never expecting or wanting the girl to order for herself. I will try to have asked all the questions necessary before summoning the waiter, like salad or vegetables, which sauce etc.
Then when I have given the waiter the order I suggest that he, or the wine steward if there is a special one in the restaurant, choose a glass of wine which will compliment each course, including the dessert.
Usually the amount of wine they pour into each glass is small enough that you can get through three or even four courses without being smashed.
In this way you have been gracious and thoughtful but haven’t had to make the choices of which wine(s). So, if your date doesn’t particularly like one of them it won’t be your fault. It also is a very friendly and sophisticated way to approach a situation where you really don’t know what she prefers.
The problem with asking her what she likes is that she will likely tend to choose something which is either cheap or at least not expensive and possibly not want to really say what she likes because of the fact of cost.
Obviously during this episode there is always the chance and the freedom for her to express some desire(s) along the way which you will take notice of and accommodate quickly and easily.
I hope you first date is a wonderful success and not an excess.