A Guide To Wine and Lipstick (Trust Us They're Related)

By Sola Onitiri

Photograph: Sola Onitiri

Photograph: Sola Onitiri

Wine is kind of my jam. But, perhaps like many of you out there, my experience prior to working in the restaurant industry was pretty limited. So I set out on a noble  quest (via Google and Wine experts I know and love) to find out all I could about wine and let me tell you - it's not as easy or as fun as drinking. Between the vocabulary, geography, and etiquette it's no wonder that people get wine fatigue and stop learning. That's why I decided to flip the scripts and learn about wine in words that I could actually understand and that's beauty and fashion. In my discovery, I figured out that the type of wine you pick or prefer is actually pretty similar to the type of lipstick you'll try and wear. I'm not saying this is a conclusive science but I do feel like this has graduate dissertation all over it. Here's what your wine is saying about your lipstick.  

Chardonnay - Tinted Lipstick


A dry white that’s high in alcohol, Chardonnay is a no nonsense wine for those who want to get the best bang for their buck. But just because you’re economic doesn’t mean that you don’t like to spruce it up sometimes. Chardonnay is made from grapes that originally come from France but now is grown on at least three different continents. And due to its world travelers badge, Chardonnay can exhibit flavors ranging from lemon, apple, and tropical pineapple.

Chardonnay goes best with lobster, salmon, and tinted lip balm. Much like faking your way through a wine tasting, there’s a few things you should keep in mind when choosing the perfect tinted lip balm. Think of the body or the thickness of the product, the swirl or how easily you can pick the product up and apply, and lastly the color.



Now before you go all Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are two different things, I just want to share with you a cool little fact; They’re actually from the same grape just one’s a loud italian and the other is a rude frenchman. Contrary to the cheap boxed wine of our college days, Pinot Grigio/Gris is not actually all that sweet. A dry wine perfect for a mid-week pick me up, Pinot Grigio is a low key wine despite being highly sophisticated. Sound familiar? (Hint I'm talking about you!)

A matte nude color is great for those of y’all who are keeping it business casual but still want to wear a bit of make up. Although a nude matte color doesn’t give quite as big as a punch as some bolder colors, it does let you focus your attention on other aspects of your makeup. Pinot Grigio/Gris is the same way. You can pair Pinot Grigio with fish, white meat, oysters, parsley, mint, tarragon, munster, and a lot (I mean A LOT) more.  

Rose - Romantic Pink 


I like to think of Rose as the quintessential flirty wine. This pink stuff has some pretty sexy flavors like strawberries, rose petals, rhubarb, and lemon zest all while having tons of variety. Another little fun fact is that saying Rose is sort of just like saying wine because there are so many different names and types. And just like lipsticks they come in a variety of different colors. For example, a Grenache Rosé has a ruby red hue with notes of ripe strawberry, orange, hibiscus and sometimes with a hint of allspice, unlike the Tempranillo Rosé, a savory a pale pink number with green peppercorn, strawberry, and meaty notes. But if you’re looking for a flavor that could easily be described as a grown-up juice box, then Sangiovese Rosé is the Rose for you.

So get your flirt on with a glass (or four) of Saigonese while rocking a pink lip. Nothing is more romantic and sexy than a pink lip, a bit of blush, and a very simple winged eyeliner. And although you want your Rose to be cold you don’t want your pink lipstick to be frosted. Learn from the mistakes of everyone in the 90s and find a pink with deeper undertones.

Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon - Classic

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Merlot is a classic red wine choice. Sadly, that means that we have to suffer through some of the worst renditions of supermarket, twist off bottles of Merlot around. Well, folks it’s time to take a stand against the tyranny of cheap Merlot. This french native is one of the second most widely-planted black wine grape in the world. Although it has a similar flavor as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is a lot less intense but still has a pretty rad mouth feel. It has notes of black cherry, raspberry, plum, and an oaky flavor. Don’t let anyone tell you that a good glass of Merlot is not "refined" enough.  

When it comes to lipstick, pair your classic with a classic. Elegant, sophisticated, and still super sexy the red lip should be a staple in everyone’s makeup repertoire. The key to a perfect red lip  is hydrated lips, lip liner, and a truck ton of confidence.

Malbec - The Dark Lip 

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A good friend of mine just recently turned me onto Malbec and I can easily say that I probably should run out and get her a thank you card. Hailing from France but popularized in sunny Argentine, Malbecs are packed with flavor and have blackberry, plum, violet flower, and sometimes even cocoa powder notes. So like the old adage and Kendrick Lamar always say ‘The Blacker The Berry.” right? If you’re looking to shake up your traditional large bottle of Barefoot wine order, try a Malbec. Although it’s out of your typical comfort zone you will fall head over heels for it’s smoky flavors and low cost.

As a huge fan of dark lipsticks, it’s actually no surprise that I don’t mind drinking something that will turn my mouth purple. When you search around the internet you’ll probably find upwards to 1,000 articles about how to properly rock dark lipstick. And my advice is to clear your browser history and find the darkest lipstick you have an wear it. It may seem odd in the first hour or so but in reality, dark lipstick is not only a great statement but it also gives your entire face the illusion of seeming more contoured and symmetric.

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