How to adult: Faking your wine knowledge | The Gourmand & Gourmet

How to adult: Faking your wine knowledge

This story begins in the bottle-o (clearly where ALL the good stories start) searching for the perfect drop to down while reveling in a little triple cream brie. Selecting wine, an intimidating task for those of us who can’t adult properly (we’re bloody experts at goon of fortune, though), is made even more intimidating by bottle shop guy (clerk? Bottle expert? Professional drinker?) who seems to know his pinot from his cab sav, and asks you if you need help. If the answer is yes, you’ve mastered adulthood and he’ll pick out a stellar drop for you to enjoy with (what I’m sure) is a perfectly crafted adult meal. If your answer is no and you’d prefer to be left to your private crisis of confusion, then my friend, read on.

Know your regions

When you’re asked where your cheese is from, we’d strongly suggest to not respond with “the cow”. This answer is met with judgmental glances. Look, we’re not saying we know this from personal experience or anything, but you’ll look about as uncultured as that cow-born cheese warming away in your wine enthusiastic hands. Same goes for wine (distinctive by region, type, colour and zodiac sign) – so get some origins down pat and if you’re completely stuck, yell France at your clerk friend, throw a bottle across the room, and run.

The prettier the label, the better the taste

This is a myth. We’ve been stung by this before and want to make sure you aren’t. No drunk looking frog, leggy barrette wearing cartoon lady or geometric artistic genius is going to taste better than a fancy French rosé, so pop the trendy looking, moped clad label down and search for something plain AF. Bonus points for calligraphy and italics. (The same goes for picking racehorses by their super fun, relatable and totally relevant name. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)


When someone’s talking about wine, cross your arms, nod your head, and look sad but interested. This sort of body language screams “I’m thinking deeply about this wine on an emotional level”. People lap that up… do that lots.

Adjectives, adjectives, adjectives

Your vocab is going to need to extend past ‘potent, dry or goes down a treat’ if you want to impress the pants off someone who knows their stuff. Wine-people tend to use describing words about wine that induce hate-sweating, panic, and a sudden need to download the Oxford Dictionary App onto your phone, so you had better start getting a serious grasp on words like tannin, aroma, sulfates and full bodied (which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t just what happens when you have a burger baby on a Friday). In the midst of all this expert-wine-faking, refrain from saying phrases like “it taste like grapes”. Again, not personal experience and all… but just don’t, you know? Or just pick a bottle and take that bad boy home. I’m just a girl… standing in front of a wine bottle… asking it to love me. Words by Lucille Burkitt