11 Things You Should Never Say in a Wine Shop

Shutterstock/Jennifer Bui
Shutterstock/Jennifer Bui

Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to love wine without learning a completely different language. But that doesn’t mean you should walk into your local wine shop sounding like a total chump.

That’s why we tapped the mind of author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk -- whose three decades in the wine business include hosting Wine Library TV -- to lay out the things you should never say in a wine shop, unless you want to sound like a jackass.

Flickr/Paul Goyette

“Is this wine smooth?”

“Smooth” is not, and never will be, a real tasting note. It is, however, a type of criminal.

“I don't like dry wines.”

In wine, “dry” is the opposite of “sweet.” Do you mean that you don’t like tannic wines that dry your mouth out?

“Doesn't the screw cap mean it's cheap?”

No. No it doesn’t.

Flickr/Kate Tomlinson

“Is this only on display because you're trying to get rid of it?”

I don’t even... we’re trying to get rid of everything. That’s what stores do.

“Do you have, like, a $10 Champagne?”

No. There’s no such thing. But let’s talk about prosecco...

“I only buy 90+ point wines.”

Do you only watch movies with 90+ points on Rotten Tomatoes, too? Because you’re missing out on the wonders of Point Break.


“I want this because the label is pretty.”

Remember, the money they spent on a designer was money they didn’t spend on the winemaking.

“Rieslings are too sweet.”

Dry rieslings are literally some of the most profound wines on the planet. Seek them out without preconceptions.

“Pink wine is for girls.”

It’s not White Zinfandel anymore, people. Rosé from around the Mediterranean is basically the best summer drink ever.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk

“What did Parker rate it?”

Wine critic Robert Parker is retired. Let’s retire his ratings, too. This does not make you sound smart.

“I'm a serious wine drinker, I only drink red.”

Cool, so you don’t think Montrachet is a serious wine? Get out of my store.

Back in the day, Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) blew up the Internet with his daily wine show Wine Library TV. These days he's busy running VaynerMedia, a 500-person digital agency in NYC, but he still makes time to drink and talk about wine.