Wine & The Single Man

I've been drinking wine for nearly as long as I've been pining after, dating, kissing, marrying, divorcing, wooing, heartbroken by, cheated on by, lied to by, adoring, and loving women.
  And here I am today, at 45 years of age, divorced, single, and still drinking wine.

What you should glean from this is that I'm probably not the right guy from whom to take advise on women.

However, I might just be the guy to take advice on how to incorporate wine into the Single Man's life.

There are in fact important things I've learned over the years that single men of any age might want to take to heart where wine, women and singlehood are concerned. And since Valentine's Day is looming, I thought I'd mention a few.


1. In almost every case, a well-stocked and well tended cellar recommends you to a woman. They tend to correctly identify a man who possesses a collection of wine, has given thought to his collection of wine and who knows his wine collection well as a person with a thoughtful disposition and who is has matured enough to look to the future. That tends to be attractive.

2. Simply possessing a well-stocked and well-tended wine collection will never be enough to seal the deal where love or sex is concerned. And if it is, you don't want to love that woman.

3. If you're having a woman you truly appreciate over to your home for dinner and if you possess an above average collection of wine, don't choose the wine for dinner prior to her arrival. Instead, allow her to help choose the wine. You'll learn a great deal about her as you stroll through the possible choices and make a decision together with her input.

4. Unless she really enjoys a good cocktail, always offer sparkling wine upon her arrival at your home for dinner and have it chilled and ready. Whether it should be or not, sparkling wine is a symbol of celebration. And no man should ever forget that it is cause for celebration that she chooses to spend time in your company.

5. When at dinner and your date asks you what wine she should choose or to simply choose the wine for her, do so without argument or discussion. It's not unlikely that a lady wine novice might feel intimidated by your knowledge of wine. Forcing her to feel inadequate by not taking her lead on the wine and telling her to "get what you likes" is dismissive of the compliment she paid you. A man who knows how to take a compliment is not unattractive.

6. Don't be afraid to order pink wine in public. It's not "Gay". It's pink. It's probably dry, if you know your wine. It's probably refreshing and tasty. Plus, any woman that would be turned off by a gentleman choosing a dry rose on a warm spring or summer evening isn't the kind of woman you want to know.

7. Learn how to give a good toast. It's an art that every gentleman ought to cultivate if he expects to find himself in mixed company where wine is being served. If you don't expect to find yourself in mixed company where wine is served, then stop reading this post now and get a cat. Otherwise, spend a little time studying the art of toasting and be prepared to stand and toast your host the next time you are invited to a meal or to toast your guests when you are the host. Bottom line: the ladies like it.

8. Don't get drunk on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd date. I don't care how shy or intimidated you are by her. It's disrespectful, it's liable to lead to words spoken you don't want to utter and it's about as unimpressive as a $5 Pinot Grigio. And let's face it, who wants to be the unimpressive and disrespectful guy who doesn't know when to hold his tongue and when was the last time you saw that guy get the girl?

9. Wine is not an appropriate gift when meeting or picking up a woman for a date. Wine is an accompaniment to a meal. While there are exceptions to this rule depending on the woman, bringing wine as a gift looks unthoughtful and probably is. Plus, the "gift" will eventually be used and not there to remind them of you. Choose something more permanent and thoughtful to express your appreciation.

10. Wine is a perfect drink to drown your sorrows when heartbreak ensues. If you must drink when heartbreak or disappointment envelopes you, choose wine over spirits. The relative lower alcohol content allows you to ease into your drunk more slowly, giving you valuable time to figure out good reasons why it was all her fault and not yours. However, if the heartbreak is entirely your fault, use bourbon or gin.


30 Responses

  1. Fredric Koeppel - February 5, 2009


  2. Tom Wark - February 5, 2009


  3. Katie - February 5, 2009

    I disagree with #9 as a woman who happens to be passionate about wine…If I were single and dating someone also passionate about wine, nothing would strike me more romantic than a gift of wine IF it is somehow made meaningful.

  4. Steve Heimoff - February 5, 2009

    Do your rules apply to gay people too?

  5. Tom Wark - February 5, 2009

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I added, “While there are exceptions to this rule depending on the woman”.

  6. Tom Wark - February 5, 2009

    Well, they were written from a straight man’s perspective. But I think they’d apply. In the end we are talking about a few suggestions for how to treat one’s appreciation of wine in in the context of Single life.

  7. Glenn - February 5, 2009

    Easily the absolute greatest post regarding wine on the internet.

  8. Jeff - February 5, 2009

    This is some of the better advice floating around on the internets.
    As a 23 year old single male that just made a boneheaded decision to break up with a great girl…
    #10 couldn’t sound more appropriate.

  9. JohnLopresti - February 5, 2009

    This is a wonderful time and place to develop these guidelines. Reminiscent of Alice Feiring’s offering a recorked half 750 of rare muscat to the plumber, impromptu, though one has the impression reading her version of the tale it was more of a palm reading. It recalled a moment I witnessed several years ago, when in a famous deli at noon hour dashing on the way back to the office, I observed, or, rather, heard the voice of a winemaker with whom I had studied. He was providing a guided tour through the extensive displays to a lady filling her menu for an approaching event, one of many applications of the knowledge we develop in the trade. It was a charming cameo, seeing even a winemaker willing to provide organoleptic note glosses instantaneously in the aisles of a store to an avid learner.

  10. Chicago Pinot - February 5, 2009

    This article proves it: Tom Wark – You ARE The World’s Most Interesting Man!

  11. Oenophilus - February 5, 2009

    And always remember….

  12. Tom Wark - February 5, 2009

    You crack me up, Oeno!
    John: I loved Alice’s “Plumber Tale”.
    Doug: You clearly don’t know me well enough.

  13. Jeff - February 5, 2009

    Great post, Tom.
    The beautiful thing about love is that it’s like baseball season and hope springs eternal, even when your team lost in the World Series in the fall.
    Best wishes on your new season.

  14. Tom Wark - February 5, 2009

    Jeff: So what’s the deal with my team? The Giants’ haven’t won the world series since I’ve been alive. And how does that fact work into your excellent analogy? And what happens to my love life if they do win the world series this year (yeah, right)?

  15. Arthur - February 5, 2009

    Studly plumber comes to the home of a single woman to fix her pipes….
    I recommended this post to my brother. Maybe he’ll move past appletinis…

  16. Fermented Thoughts - February 5, 2009

    Sage advice sir.

  17. Jeff - February 5, 2009

    Tom, I think they made a movie about love and baseball (Fever Pitch) … but it features the Red Sox. If Drew Barrymore is your girl, who gives a damn about baseball.

  18. Dylan - February 5, 2009

    It’s interesting because I always thought a toast sort of just came from the heart. I never really read up on anything to learn how to do it. I just observed others when I was younger and took that on. But, your comment got me thinking and for anyone needing a resource:

  19. Marco Romano - February 5, 2009

    I feel compelled to drink more of the excellent inexpensive Douro Riserva that is currently sitting next to my keyboard, ponder what you wrote, sleep on it and drink some Italian roast in the morning. Bravo!

  20. Gary "Iron" Chevsky - February 5, 2009

    Well written post. Hard to imagine why a man this thoughtful, mature, and eloquent would be single.
    Valentine day is coming – I struggle to figure out what to give my wife – both of us are passionate about wine.
    Iron Chevsky ( – Iron Chevsky wine blog)

  21. beth - the wine school - February 6, 2009

    Great post.

  22. JohnLopresti - February 6, 2009

    I was reading in Wines and Vines of Vinquiry?’s majority equity sale* to Esseco last month, and took the opportunity to refamiliarize with V?’s wonderful presence at the website. One of the tests currently offered, germane for this time of year, especially pondering warm weather and barrel aging time approaching, was V?’s article on Brettanomyces off-aromas**, which led to the following sifting from an Australian winemaker conference five years ago capturing all the essences of a goblet of wine offered Gone Wrong:
    “wine character described as aromas of bandaid, antiseptic, horse stable; smoked bacon, spice, cloves; and sweaty animals, cheese and rancidity; wet dog, creosote, burnt beans, rotting vegetation, plastic, mouse cage, vinegar.”
    The quote is a composite, all referencing 4-ep, the signature compound of brettyness.
    Some toasts seem to have a defect.

  23. mydailywine - February 6, 2009

    Given your single man rules, you shouldn’t expect to stay single much longer!
    Stand well clear of the ensuing stampede.

  24. Neil/WineExpedition - February 7, 2009

    …and by the way, I’m a married man, and rule #8 doesn’t change. With jobs, kids etc. ‘date time’ is a rare treat, and when it comes around, getting drunk is a no-no. Enjoying wine in moderation is key to staying married. And if your wife/date/girlfriend doesn’t appreciate wine like you do, that’s okay, just remember to talk about something other than wine during the date… and thank her for driving….!

  25. Mike - February 9, 2009

    Great post Tom, very interesting. Check out for a lively wine community.

  26. Steve Merlin - February 9, 2009

    For people looking to buy some wine check out They offer 25% off everyday and also all their prices are the nations lowest. Compare prices on or google shopping and you will see that has the lowest. Don’t fall for tricks like 10% off today. Try new things and get great prices at

  27. Lisa Marie - February 9, 2009

    #4 – My sweetheart always does this for me and I adore him for it! And after reading your post, I can say you are correct. It does make the occasion (and me) feel very special.

  28. Oscar Quevedo - February 9, 2009

    Thank you for the #9 Tom, I think it will help to improve my relation… I’ll try to don’t make this error again…

  29. Catie - February 17, 2009

    I’m a single woman and I agree with everything on your list, except #9 “Wine is not an appropriate gift when meeting or picking up a woman for a date.”
    I cannot speak for other women, but I think wine is a very appropriate gift especially for a wine geek like myself. The older I get the less stuff I want around the house to dust, so I am all about consumables. And if my date brings a bottle of wine because he was thinking about me, or if it was a special wine for him, with a story….anything personal like that is going warm the cockles of my heart and who knows – – maybe that bottle won’t get opened until we’re together for an important anniversary.

  30. Alice Feiring - February 17, 2009

    Tom, Love this post and I hope you had a productive Valentine’s Day/evening……but just FYI, if you ever go out with a woman like me, a bottle of wine that you think she’d love, would go straight to my/her heart. –Alice

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