Here at VinePair, we believe you should drink what you love. But we can also admit that there is a little part in all of us that wants to occasionally feel like a total badass when ordering wine. Sommeliers face a bombardment of wine orders day and in and day out, and some of those choices naturally stand out more than others. So we thought we’d give them a holler and find out which wine to order to look like a boss.
“Grand Cru Burgundy. If you want to impress a wine dork, grower Champagne, the legends of northern Rhone, or unicorn wines from the Loire Valley and Jura.” – Kimberly Prokoshyn, Head Sommelier, Rebelle
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“Barolo, especially Barolo with a little bit of age. Nebbiolo is soulfully aromatic, and the wines are romantic and intriguing. With several different communes, and the notorious divide between Old World-style producers and modernists, there is always much to explore and discuss!” – Ellie Bufkin, Associate Wine Director, Maialino
“I think people look pretty badass when they order rosé. Great food wine, and shows you are not insecure about what you drink.” – Eric Railsback, Wine Director, Mason Pacific
“So many guests come into our restaurants thinking that they need to spend above their budget, get some crazy wine to impress the people at the table; impress the sommelier. Want to look like a boss? Do your homework – pick a bottle that is $50-$60 that is lights out the best value on the list. Pick the brain of the sommelier to see what is the wine that tastes like $150, but is half the price. When the table says “Wow, this wine is really amazing” and you get to tell them it’s only $50 on the list – that’s baller. Save the $500 Chablis for Instagram. Mic drop.” – Jon McDaniel, Beverage Director, Acanto, The Gage, The Dawson, Beacon Tavern, Coda di Volpe
“I’m a big fan of the wines of Campania and Basilicata, as far as both being great values, and stylistically interesting. Brunellos typically signify the big spender-type guest, but I think a Taurasi from a great producer with a little age can make you look pretty savvy at the table.” – Nathan Lithgow, Sommelier, Sauvage
“Well, I guess it depends! What makes someone a boss? Everyone has a different audience and a different idea of what makes someone a ‘boss.’ For one person it may be ordering a flashy $300 bottle of wine, and for someone else (like me!) it may mean ordering something super wine-nerdy and creative.” – Rachael Lowe, Beverage Director, Spiaggia
“Anything with age. Mature wines are an experience that you cannot replicate with Vinturi aerator. Someone had to make an investment, place the Easter egg somewhere that made it hard to find or at least take the incentive to drink out of it by putting a few boxes on top of it…the process of aging is a bit of a lost art in the current environment of iPhone/Social Media NOW NOW NOW satisfaction expectancy. But when a boss orders a 1980 Bandiera Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County at Augustine Wine Bar (shameless plug) for $25 per glass or $100 per bottle, I defy their table not to bow down and kiss the ring.” – Matthew Kaner, Wine Director and Owner of Bar Covell, Augustine Wine Bar, Dead or Alive Bar, AM/FM Wines
“Chablis. They are superb food wines, easily bridge the gap between many dishes. When someone orders a bottle of Chablis at the table, it grabs my attention, and I will definitely be paying attention when they grab the list to order the second bottle.” – Joshua Thomas, Wine Director, Octavia and Frances.