Accept the fact that one must acquire a taste for wine. It is commonly not the very first drink you are going to love upon turning 21. I used to struggle to get through glasses. Take small sips. Like black coffee, wine takes getting used to. Now, it almost goes down like water.
Looking to buy? Trader Joe’s is an excellent resource for wine, having a wide price range, and an incredible selection. Hands down. Allow me to prepare you for the real world. Wine can be enjoyable and affordable as long as you know the rules to drinking wine in college.
1. Don’t assume wine is going to taste like what it says on the bottle
Nice try. There is no wine out there that identically tastes like a red velvet cupcake.
2. Wine pairings are not rules
Pairings are more like suggestions, and usually great ones. Don’t assume white wine is only good with fish or red wine with red meats or Italian food. Above all, the best pairing is you and wine.
3. Have reusable plastic wine glasses handy
If you are with a young crowd… better safe than sorry. Invest in these great plastic wine glasses. I bring them with me to dorm parties. When I’m hosting, I make sure I have them. Order them with your textbooks on Amazon. These glasses will hold a generous pour. These glasses are washable, durable, and fool-proof. This way you can pose for pictures without a red cup or some disgusting travel mug.
4. Don’t settle for cheap or astronomical
Life is too short to drink crappy wine. That much is true, but also, more expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are some excellent wines that price between $5–$12 per bottle.
5. If you are really cheap, buy more
You’re not going to find a good glass of wine for under $7 unless it’s #WineWednesday at your local bar. You are better off buying your own bottle and opening it yourself.
If you are really feeling yourself, the boxed wine is a way to go. Trader Joe’s sells its own version of boxed wine, called Block Wine. This boxed wine contains 4 typical 750 ml wine bottles and it’s not only a crowd pleaser. but also perfect for those nights that all you want is a glass of wine after a long day. The best part? It is only $10, making each bottle only $2.50. You’re welcome in advance.
6. Learn the white wine vocabulary
Know the basics like color and blend when you order. Starting with the sweetest, popular whites are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.
7. Learn the red wine vocabulary
Once you acquire a taste for it, you will quickly learn your preference. You may like red and white equally – Pinot Noir, Malbec, Chianti, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Guys, if you are buying a drink for a lady who likes red wine, you can’t go wrong with a Cabernet. She will accept it and give you some of her time. You’ve scored.
8. Invest in a wine opener and learn how to use it
The ones with the arms are the easiest to operate. They won’t result in pieces of cork swimming in your wine if you use them right.
9. Never underestimate the twist off capped wines
It’s still fresh. Some of my favorite winemakers like Old Moon have a twist off cap. Easy opening, easy pouring, and easy enjoying. Who cares if there’s no cork? You get to your wine faster.
10. Learn your roommate’s wine preference
Drinking wine together allows for great bonding any day. They will appreciate you coming home with wine to each of your likings. I am convinced this is why my friendships are long-lasting. This photo is living proof. Kacie and Megan bonded over wine while they were roommates. They are now best friends.
11. Wine stoppers are a useful tool
Good luck finding your cork at the end of the night. The best part is one size fits all. No wine should ever go to waste, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is. It is wine and it should be saved. You can find this cute Kate Spade one at Macy’s.
12. Know the difference between a half carafe, a bottle, and a carafe
Know this while you are ordering at a restaurant. A carafe gives you MORE than a bottle. Think of it like a gallon versus a pint. If you are committing your night to drinking wine and there’s only two of you, start with a bottle. That will be plenty. A half carafe between two is not nearly enough. Have a friend on speed dial who is reliable to come to the rescue and finish what’s left in a bottle if you two are lightweights.
13. Keep track of how much of a bottle you’ve had
Not that there’s anything to feel ashamed about. If you emptied a bottle yourself, that’s #FIERCE. Just know that your head is in for it the next morning.
14. If you eat a dessert, say “bye” to your buzz
Whenever I eat something sweet like a brownie or ice cream after I’ve had wine, it’s like getting hit in the face with reality. I find the intensity of sugar goes right to the blood as fast as alcohol did. Sweets have the opposite effect of alcohol. Think about it – how do you wake someone from unconsciousness? You can compromise to one bite but who really just has one bite of a dessert? When I go in, I go in.
15. Keep munching, stay classy
Like anything, it is smart to munch on something like crackers, tortilla chips, or nuts in between sips. If you feel like you’re getting to that point, and there are no snacks nearby, find pizza. It always goes well.
16. There is nothing wrong with a sensible mid-week glass
College can be rough sometimes. There is nothing wrong with having a glass or two in the middle of the week. If you are able to go without wine until Wednesday, consider that an achievement.
17. Wine makes a great gift
If invited somewhere or crashing a party, bring wine. You will be welcomed in and welcomed back. Need a gift idea? Wine satisfies that need as you the gift giver and the gift receiver.
Accept these facts. Wine is fantastic. Wine is the answer to many of life’s questions. Subscribe to wine.