||Like most young men, I consider wine to be the drink of the middle-aged failure, or the pretentious pseudo-intellectuel, who uses his supposedly superior taste in alchohol to compensate for his lack of achievements in the realm of hacking. Of course, a passing knowledge of wines, and how to use them is useful for a young man, for the simple fact that young women are not easily impressed by beer or bourbon.
Consider the following situation: A young lady of your acquaintance has invited you to join her at her dorm room for an intimate dinner for two. Obviously this will involve trying to remember how to handle cutlery in the dim glow of too many overpriced candles at a borrowed poker table in the same room as her bed. This is about as romantic as things will ever get for you, so you'd better pull out the big guns. But which flavour to bring? Red or white?
Real wine aficionados know that wine should be chosen to complement a dinner. Young women know that real wine aficionados know this. But you know that young women couldn't tell the difference between spumante and bordeaux, much less decide which would go best with chicken. Simply asking her what she's cooking would spoil the gruesome surprise, however. It's best to ask her opinion on what you should bring:
You: What wine do you think I should bring? Red or white?
Her: Ummmmmmm...I don't know. I'm making tacos. What do you think?
It's important at this point to remember that tequila is not a wine. What little I know of the Spanish leads me to believe that red is the preferred flavour on the peninsula, and since Mexicans are a sort of Spanish, it's safe to assume that all their food goes with red wine. It's safe because you have absolutely no chance of being questioned.
At the wine shop, you will be faced with as many as fifty different wines, which may leave you bewildered and slightly nervous. Don't worry. Literally any wine you pick will be as acceptable as any other. The best technique is to lunge blindly at the nearest shelf of domestic non-vintage reds and hope for the best. If you pull out a merlot, just try again.
Once you have found a wine that is neither too cheap nor too expensive, practise saying the name a few times. If you can convince yourself that you know how to pronounce it, buy it. Don't forget to scratch off the price tag afterwards.
Before visiting the young lady's dorm room, read the back of the wine bottle. This will say complimentary things about the wine inside, which should help you feel more confident that you have made a shrewd and sophisticated choice. This will make it easier, when she greets you at her door, to produce the wine from its brown paper bag and flourish it in the young lady's face as if you had travelled to the French Riviera to find the exact vintage Chateau Cré'tin-Wánkêre that would make the evening perfect.
With any luck, she'll be eager to participate in the charade, and will pretend that she thinks you made a spectacular choice. Try not to giggle when she comments on the wine during dinner. Or do. It doesn't really matter, as you'll realise towards the end of the evening, when the wine has run out and there appears to be no possibility of her taking her clothes off.
It is at this point that you will realise that the night would have been much more enjoyable for both of you if you'd had the sense to bring a six-pack of strong beer and a video with Brad Pitt on it. Honestly, who brings wine to a shabby dorm room to impress a middle-class skank over tacos? What are you trying to prove? Why do you always have to be such a wanker? Why? You know all your friends are laughing at you. You know what it is? You're scared of girls. You're so scared that she won't like you enough to sleep with you that you feel you have to hide behind stupid little stunts with wine. Have you been laid once since you came to college? I bet you haven't. You know what? I bet you're still a virgin. Look at you, you're trembling like a sissy. Did you even try to make a pass at her? Go on, touch her. She won't bite. She probably wants it. Go on. She's right there, just stick your hand down her blouse, she's not the bloody princess of Luxembourg.