Impress your date: “Declare that this red will have hints of mint, pepper and occasionally cedar wood or cigar box notes,” says Matthew Jukes, wine expert and buyer for leading UK merchants Quintessentially Wine.
Health benefits: According to a study in the journal Heart, Cabernet grapes have the highest levels of resveratrol in wine – which boosts ‘good’ cholesterol and cuts the ‘bad’ stuff.
Complements: Pheasant. “Particularly if you see Bordeaux or Western Australia on the label, some game will really bring the warmth of this red to life,” says Jukes. Yes, pheasant. Not Jenga.
Impress your date: “This heaviest of the reds hits your senses with a combo of chocolate, pepper and dark berries,” says Jukes. If the bottle says it’s been aged in oak, you should taste vanilla. Not trees.
Health benefits: Glasgow University researchers say red wines including Shiraz – even diluted 100 times – are a better antioxidant than vitamin E. Gets you merry quicker, too.
Complements: Steak. “The depth and intensity of Shiraz – sometimes called Syrah – make it a perfect match for red meats like steak or venison,” says Jukes. An excuse to eat more meat? Oh, go on then.
3. PINOT NOIR
Impress your date: “Point out the fantastic ‘barnyard’ smell to this red, which lifts the longer the bottle has been open, all cherries and stewed fruit,” says Jukes, who assures us that ‘barnyard’ here has nothing to do with ‘dung’.
Health Benefits: Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that pinot noir packs high quantities of a compound that can help fight oral bacteria and plaque. Drink it. But please don’t gargle.
Complements: “Pinot Noir is so popular because it works well with a number of dishes,” says Jukes. “Porcini Risotto, lasagne, seafood or duck are all great matches.” Like Britney at a buffet, you can’t miss.
4. PINOT GRIGIO
Impress your date: “The Pinot Gris grape is red but this lovely wine is white,” says Jukes. “It has a lighter, crisp style that matches a huge array of light dishes.” She thought it was a red? Chuckle adoringly at her.
Health benefits: “Grigio can significantly reduce your systolic blood pressure, the stuff that leads to heart attacks when high,” says nutritionist Emma Wells.
Complements: Seafood. “Light, white meat like fish chimes perfectly with its delicate structure and crisp acidity levels,” says Jukes. “Heavier dishes can ‘beat up’ Grigio.” Then again, so can girls who don’t like being laughed at.
Impress your date: “If the menu says it’s oaked, this white wine will have a buttery, creamy flavour with scents of citrus fruits, peaches and vanilla.” Says Jukes. No oak ageing? “It’ll be crisp and slightly dry.” Bit of cork floating in it? Slap the waiter.
Health benefits: The University of Montpellier found Chardonnay contains numerous polyphenols, which clear the fatty build-ups from your arteries. Yes, we saw you with that kebab last Saturday.
Complements: Fish and cheese. “Drink it with oily fish like salmon, and shellfish dishes,” says Jukes. “Chardonnay will also complement chicken and cheeses. No, don’t dunk them in your glass.
6. SAUVIGNON BLANC
Impress your date: “You’ll detect citrus fruit, hints of cut grass and melon,” says Jukes. “If it’s from New Zealand, it’ll have notes of gooseberry, grapefruit and lychees.” If it’s from Lidl, it won’t.
Health benefits: According to Virginia University, Gallic acid – a component of Sauvignon – has anti-inflammatory qualities. Finish the bottle for a total pain-number. Until the morning.
What to eat with it: “Go for mild Asian food or tomato-based pasta dishes,” says Jukes. “It’s also lovely with goats-cheese based dishes thanks to its high levels of acidity.”
Publication: Men’s Health.