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02.20.2007

Men, Please Don't Be Wine Assholes

It's rare that I feel like I'm in a position to give advice to an entire population, but damn it, something needs to be done. My fellow men, you are seriously in danger of royally screwing up your lives. Why? Because your egos get between you and your date and a good glass of wine.

According to new research conducted in the UK, nearly 22 percent of men admit to embellishing their expertise about wine in order to impress their dates. Among 19 to 30 year olds, that number jumps to 29%.

What's even worse, and totally unforgivable is that over 35% of men refuse to let their partner choose wine in a restaurant because they do not trust them to make the appropriate choice.

Sometimes I really am ashamed to be a man. Since when did our masculinity rest on the appropriate wine choice with roasted squab? How inconceivable could it be that our dates or wives might actually know more about wine than we?

Snap out of it, men. Don't be assholes. It's conceivable that you might actually get to the point of knowing something about wine one day, but you're never going to get there by pretending you know it all already. And for those idiots among you who think that somehow it's your manly duty to order the wine -- get over it. Even if she doesn't know more than you, she's probably got a better palate to begin with, not to mention the fact that it wouldn't hurt you to show a little sensibility, flexibility, and humility by exploring the wine list together, let alone the gallantry of asking if she might want to order the wine for the evening.

And if your date happens to be another man, well then all the more reason to demur and let him choose. Or if that's too hard you can offer to arm wrestle for the privilege.

Men of the world, the time has come to relinquish your grip on the wine list, and share the passion with others as equal partners in this journey. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.