Between making a plan, deciding what to wear, and figuring out what exactly constitutes “fashionably late,” dates are always stressful. Why let picking a bottle of wine add to that stress? With a few go-to, date-worthy wine ideas, the night will be off to a smooth start.
Date-worthy wine is a broad category, to be sure, spanning subtle sparklers, bold reds, and anything you would eagerly pop open for someone you love. (Or really like.) (Or could really like.) Date-worthy wines hail from around the globe. Whether it’s an early-in-the-game date, or a rare unplugged hour with the person you spend day in and day out with, the wine matters — but that doesn’t mean it needs to break the bank, either.
From under $25, to triple-digit splurges, these 10 date-worthy wines are sure to impress.
Southern France offers excellent value when it comes to bubbly, which is why this bottle is packed with flavor at a fraction of the price. Think fresh strawberries and lemon curd with salty edge. Average price: $16.
Get the Chablis name, quality, and taste without the insane price tag. Everything you expect is in this bottle, from zesty lemon citrus and salty Parmesan cheese, to seashell and ocean brine minerality. Average price: $20.
Big-name red wine regions like Burgundy have the luxury of charging more for their bottles, due to label recognition, land prices, and so on. Look outside the well-known regions, however, and there are some excellent deals to be had, like this Portuguese blend with surprising, smoky depth. Average price: $16.
If this bottle appeared on your table, you would probably call over the sommelier to make sure that she hadn’t allocated your entire budget to wine. That’s how expensive this Bordeaux tastes. A Merlot-based blend, it is succulent yet balanced, with sweet tobacco and mint chocolate on the finish. Average price: $24.
Opt for a wild-card selection with this kosher, lees-aged, vintage sparkling wine from Israel. It’s toasty and hedonistic, easily earning its place among the top traditional-method sparklers of the world. Average price: $30.
Blow your date’s mind when you prove that, yes, Riesling can be dry (and full-bodied!). This bottle is layered, textured, and will be a versatile food-pairing option. Average price: $33.
This Bordeaux blend from Tuscany just feels romantic, all push-pull with power and delicacy. Deep fruit contrasts with soft herbs, and the flavors and structure combine to feel something akin to rich velvet. Average price: $45.
Think rosé can’t be fancy? Think again. One of the most lauded Burgundian Chardonnay producers released this wine for the first time last year, and it has only gotten better with age. Think delicate fruit with perfectly poised minerality. Average price: $35.
Not only does this bottle look like a showstopper, with its Tiffany blue-hued label, but it’s a great deal for vintage Champagne. Oh, and of course it tastes great too, with deep, golden flavors and a soft finish. Average price: $60.
This Sicilian red brings the cool factor of Italy’s hip island with the finesse and complexity of Burgundy. One of six different single-vineyard cuvées of Nerello Mascalese produced by this top Etna winery, the high-altitude Sciaranuova gets its bright red fruit and finely grained black minerality from “new” lava flow that occurred in the 1600s. Average price: $65.