Pairing the Wine with the Man
Bears, otters, daddies, college, jock, geek? Tired. Here’s the gay classification system you can really use on a date.
By Mike Fleming
If dates were hookups, gay men could pigeonhole each other into broad classifications. Instead, dinner dates are an opportunity to typecast guys and complement them in a way that will impress, rather than set you both up for failure.
Gay stereotyping based on body hair, age or size are problematic in the real world, but our wine-typing rules actually work. Beyond red with meat and white with fish, know which wine pairs with these characteristics, and you’ll both like the taste of knowing, like wine, none of us is good in a box.
He’s kinda risqué, and he never shies away from a vulgar joke. He’s tough, which you like in small doses just like his namesake salty foods. Pour this guy Champagne or Cava to make him refreshing instead of overbearing.
Cheesy, but Rich:
Sure, his jokes are corny, but he treats you right. You first fell for his wallet, but now you’re genuinely into him. Like their namesake foods, these guys can go either way. Instead of making him choose, pour a Dry Rose for the acidity of a white and the fruitiness of a red.
Often mistaken for a slut, not that there’s anything wrong with that, or a bitch, not that any of us is immune, this guy is actually just a flirt. His tangy, aggressive wit is an acquired taste that won’t be overwhelmed by wines with some zip. Serve him Sauvignon Blanc, Portugese Vinho Verde, or Spanish Verdejo
Even faeries and granola gays like their wine. Help balance his mellow fresh herbs basil, bay leaf, rosemary with whites like Grüner Veltliner from Austria, Albariño from Spain, or Vermentino from Italy. Or give his dirtier, grittier inklings like mushrooms and truffles a red spin with Pinot Noir or Dolcetto.
With destinations from the Far and Middle East and the South Pacific under his belt, this guy is spicy and brings the heat. He’ll like that you tame him with the contrasting sweetness of European Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vovrays. If he’s extra spicy after trips to Greece or Latin America, offer him the correspondingly heavy seasoning of a California Syrah or Greek Xinomavro.
Lightweights vs. Chubby Chasers:
Every gay knows white with seafood, right? Well which one depends on the Wine Gay you’re serving. If he’s light like whitefish, equally delicate Pinot Grigio, Chablis and Arneis bring out his true colors. If he’s a little fatty and lush like buttery shrimp or glazed salmon, silky Chardonnay is his best match.
Big & Bold:
He’s bold, but you can handle all of the tang and spice he dishes out. Like the hottest, sweetest barbecue you ever tasted, serve this guy a Malbec, Shiraz or Côtes-du-Rhône that can stand up to him blow-for-blow.
He likes fresh air and piney woods, but glamping is more his style than camping. Think Restoration Hardware and Land’s End instead of REI and Yeti. Match his pastoral but refined palate for pates and terrines with similarly rustic Zinfandel, Italian Nero d’Avola or Spanish Monastrell.
If you grunt when you lay eyes on him instead of opine or demure, you’re into Mr. Meaty. Meat and potatoes calls for you to respond with likewise firmness like the tannins of Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style Blends. They’ll refresh you after each bite.
Before you take this one home to mom, find the root of his sweetness. Show off the fruit, not the sugar, with a moderately sweet Sparkling Wine.