Fake It Till You Make It: Wine

We all know that a box of wine is a box of fun. But sometimes, you have just got to 86 the cardboard and bladder bag for a classier combo. Welcome to the world of real wine, where screw tops and pour spouts do not exist. Get ready to impress your friends with your vino knowledge, techniques and hip lingo. No courses required.

My mom always told me to fake it till you make it, which has proved useful when I’m trying to flaunt my wine “skills”. Granted, I know a little bit after being around my sister (who legitimately knows about wine), but with my friends who know nothing, it’s easy to act like I am the all-knowing expert. Being an awesome sommelier bullshitter totally ups your awesome factor with the crowd. Also, your total wine-o habits have just been swept under the rug because wine is your “favorite pastime” or “new passion.” Trust me, drinking hasn’t been so fun since you first discovered the beer bong.

So here, with a little bit of help from the big sis (aka real wine expert), we show you how to fake it with wine until you make it to drunk!

Choosing a wine: I like to follow my ABC’s (Anything But Chardonnay) when I’m trying to show off my smarts. Here’s a good chance for you to say “I don’t drink Chardonnay, (insert choice wine) is much more (insert key word). You know so much you have an opinion! Or choose a wine from somewhere other than Italy. I like Spain. This gives you the perfect chance to insert the phrase “Spain is the new Italy.” See? You already sound awesome.

Swirl: When you pour the first glass for you and your girls (or if the waiter pours it) leave it on the table while you swirl. It’s actually hard to get a good swirl in while holding the glass. Do this a few times to “open it up.” Tell people this, faux sommelier!

Tip: Ignore the cork. Some people think that the cork has something to tell you about the wine. THEY’RE WRONG! You’ll appear more schooled if you just leave it alone. I mean, you’re eventually going to drink the whole bottle anyway!

Take a Look: The wine running down the inside of the glass after you swirl are called the legs. The faster the legs dissipate, the higher the alcohol content. This little factoid is sure to wow your booze hound friends but not your mother. Tip the glass back and forth and take a good look. Obviously, the intense staring means your looking for something. Why the hell else would you be looking so damn hard? This will make you seem very smart. Buzz words: clarity, intensity, legs

Smell: When you smell the wine, stick your nose in pretty far. You’ll feel like a tool, but come on, didn’t we all see Sideways? We’re ladies “in the know” so stick it in! Keep your mouth open while you sniff and smell from the top to the bottom of the glass, because the wine smells different in both places. Make sure you tell people this. It’s okay to boast, you rule. Buzz words: nose, bouquet, condition, intensity, clean, unclean, corked

Key Phrase: “Wow, this wine is really jumping out at me! I’m getting a lot on the nose!”

Tip: If the wine smells musty (think dark, damp basement and cardboard) this is from “cork taint.” Unfortunately, you have to tell the waiter (or the ass hole who bought the wine) that it’s corked. Not tainted. It really is too bad. I like that word.

Taste: Sweet Jesus, it’s time to taste! Leave the swish and suck (swishing in your mouth and sucking the air in) to the professionals. This is generally not a common practice for the ordinary woman. Taking a nice long sip and pausing to think about what you’ve just tasted (even if you have NO IDEA what you’ve just tasted) will make you look like you know what you’re doing in polite (or close to rowdy) company.

For the most part, wine is always dry unless you’ve ordered a specifically sweet wine. In the majority of wines, you’re going to taste a balance of fruit and earth. If you used to eat dirt as a kid, you should know what earth tastes like. You’ll taste red and black fruits in red wine (cherry, plum, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) and pretty much all other fruits in white wine (lemon, lime, grapefruit, apple, kiwi or melon). If you really don’t taste anything, make it up. No one is going to contradict you because you are the expert! Buzz words: sweetness, acidity, tannin, body, length, palate, mid-palate, mouthfeel, fruit, earth

Key Phrase: “Gosh, that has a really long finish!” or “The mid-palate is soooooooo interesting!”

Now somebody cut the cheese and break the bread! We’ve got some drinking to do!

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