You’re on a date. We’ve all been there. You’ve checked your teeth – all clear, deodorant – check, you even remembered to switch to the good underwear – just in case. The waiter drops off the menus and wine list – so far so good. Now here’s the tricky part, before even deciding whether to go for the Lobster Risotto with Saffron or the Chicken Paillard – you have to select a wine.

Some people say that matching food and wine is the true mark of a great sommelier. Gothamist believes that, in many cases, the real art of wine lies in pairing the right wine with the right person. A few suggestions…

Conservative banker or lawyer type. They have character and a strong identity. Pair their pinstripes with a classic like Cabernet Sauvignon. The powerful tannins (the bite you feel in the back of your mouth) in this full bodied wine provide structure and the currant and blackberry fruit explode on the pallet with power and bite. Not for the faint of heart.

- Splurge: Stags Leap 2000, Cabernet Sauvignon (USA) $48.99/bottle

- Value: Hess Select 2001, Cabernet Sauvignon (USA) $12.99/bottle

Fun, flirty and trendy type. They are not afraid to kick off their Jimmy Choo’s and have a good time. They are lively and full of energy. Pair this live wire with a Sauvignon Blanc. The high level of acidity and tropical fruit flavors provide a balance of sassiness and friendliness (think biting into a juicy piece of pineapple).

- Splurge: Villa Maria 2002, Clifford Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) $30.00/bottle

- Value: Cakebread Cellars 2003, Sauvignon Blanc (USA) $20.00/bottle or Xanadu 2002 Sauvignon Blanc Margaret River (Australia) $10.99/bottle

Sophisticated and Elegant type. They are the epitome of class. They are easygoing and warm but don’t compromise when it comes to quality. Pair this Jackie O with a Pinot Noir. This sophisticated grape is a great compliment to almost any dish and the velvet texture and soft luscious fruit leaves a lasting impression (think raspberry Chambord sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream). When it comes to Pinot Noir, price matters – this grape is difficult to grow and therefore comes at a premium.

- Splurge: Patrick Lesec 2000, Gevrey Chambertin Cherbaudes (France) $58.00/bottle

- Value: J 2001, Russian River Pinot Noir (USA) $21.99

The girl/guy next door type. They are sweet and honestly refreshing. They take time to stop and smell the flowers. Pair your neighbor with a German style Riesling. This often sweet wine has soft floral notes that will transport you to a breezy spring morning. Swirl it around in your mouth and you’ll taste peach and honey flavors –strudel with half the calories.

- Splurge: Dom. Weinbach 2002 Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru (France) $36.00/bottle

- Value: Kendall Jackson 2002, Vintners Reserve Riesling (USA) $8.99/bottle

Sexy, sultry and easy. Their entrance into the room never goes unnoticed. They turn more heads then the man running down Third Avenue in lingerie. Pair this beauty with a Zinfandel – 2 bottles. This wine’s zesty pepper notes and wild berry and plum flavors bring out the party animal in the best of us. PS – This wine goes great with chocolate.

- Splurge: Seghesio 2002, Cortina Zinfandel (USA) $31.99

- Value: Ravenswood 2001, Vintners Blend Zinfandel (USA) $9.99/bottle or Bonny Doon 2002, Cardinal Zinfandel (USA) $20.00/bottle

If the aforementioned advice fails (we’re good, but allot for a .0005% margin of error), Gothamist recommends that you just keep drinking. Trust us, the third glass will taste much better then the first.

Find out your wine personality at

-- Tamara Lover
Tamara Lover, Gothamist's wine expert, will be contributing a weekly column on Mondays.