What to drink on a first date (that’s not going well)

From meeting the in-laws or ordering wine on a plane, to picking the perfect post break-up bottle, Hannah Crosbie's new book Corker aims to provide inspiration regardless of situation, dilemma or crisis. In this extract, she selects the best wine to have on a bad first date

Words by Hannah Crosbie


Corker is a celebration of everyday drinking and the way that wine can be a welcome companion to a wide variety of events and occasions that arise in ordinary life. Aimed at wine novices who might find themselves aimlessly wandering the wine aisles of their local supermarkets, to wine lovers who already know their Chablis from their Chenin but still need some inspiration when picking the best bottle for their budget and the occasion, Corker is the new, ‘deeply unserious’, wine companion. In this extract, Crosbie selects the best wine to have on a first date that’s not going as hoped.

Hannah Crosbie
Hannah Crosbie

A first date (that’s not going well)

‘It’s such a shame you enjoy drinking Prosecco,’ the man across from me notes. ‘A girl like you should really be drinking Champagne.’ I think he thinks that’s a compliment, but we’re 15 minutes into the date and I’ve already decided that I never want to see him again. Earlier he referred to dating women as ‘chasing tail’. The reaction to my order, however, is the final nail in the self-imposed cockblock coffin.

While I certainly wasn’t about to deny my love of Champagne and, admittedly, it seems like a well-intended compliment written down, the way he pronounced ‘Prosecco’ with a bad imitation of an Essex accent was definitely indicative of something a little more grating, sexist and classist. Not exactly three boxes I want ticking on a first date.

So, what do you order, out of sheer politeness, of course, when you know you’re going to find an excuse to leave in half an hour? The cab has already been ordered. You bribed your friend to call you with a faux emergency (her aunt’s cat died). Time is of the essence, but you didn’t come all this way for nothing.

You’re certainly not ordering a bottle: then you’re tossed on the horns of a shared bill situation, when you’d make a much hastier exit by paying for a single glass of something. Something that’ll definitely be on the list. Something simple, yet reliable in style. If only there was such a wine. Oh wait, there is.


It might seem like an arbitrary ‘fuck you’ to a man I dated several years ago (I wouldn’t put it past me) but thinking about it, Prosecco is a genius option for a first date gone sour. The Italian fizz is almost always on by the glass, whether you’re at a restaurant or wine bar- most pubs even stock it now. It’s also often the cheapest by-the-glass option. Sparkling wine to toast the end of a calamitous rendezvous is the kind of delicious irony I can get behind.

Cheers darling, better luck next time.


Can’t find it? Try this: If Prosecco isn’t on the menu (although I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be), then opt for some other fizz that’s by the glass. A Col Fondo may be available, or opt for a gently effervescent pét- nat.

Colour: White (sparkling)

Notable grapes: Predominantly Glera, but up to 15 per cent of the wine may be other varieties such as Verdiso or Pinot Grigio

On the label: It will always say ‘Prosecco’ on the label. Seeing ‘Prosecco Superiore DOCG’ on the label denotes a Prosecco made in historic, high-quality vineyards

This is an extract from Corker by Hannah Crosbie, published by Ebury Press and out now for £16.99. Order a copy here