Elana had never had a glass of wine in her life.\r\n\r\nShe\u2019d also never had a beer, mixed drink or shot. It wasn\u2019t medical or religious reasons. She simply wasn\u2019t\u2014as she says\u2014born with the urge. She had always opted out of it at parties, happy hours, weddings and barbecues. She was now ready to try it, and the pressure was on me to find the perfect gateway glass.\r\nI knew I couldn\u2019t replicate my own experience. My first full glass of wine came when I turned 21, seven years earlier. I can\u2019t recall the name of the wine; I only remember that it was boxed and terrible. But it was enough to compel me to learn more. I tried conventional methods, such as attending tastings. And idiosyncratic ones: I wasn\u2019t above standing in the middle of a wine store with a pointed finger, begging the cashier to spin me in dizzying circles. (Only one agreed. This is how I discovered Shiraz.) I had learned my favorite drinks through both method and madness.\r\n\r\nNow, in my appointment as Elana\u2019s personal sommelier, I would have to cash in on all that field research.\r\n\r\nThe most practical approach, I decided, was to think about the makeup of wine, element by element. Since Elana and I have similar food palates\u2014we both hate spinach, strange-sounding meat products and all types of olives\u2014it seemed like a manageable task.\r\n\r\nLet the internal brainstorming begin. She would prefer sweet over dry, for sure, but how sweet? Off-dry Riesling sweet, not ice wine sweet. The acidity level would have to be low. Tannins too: grippy, drying tannins would turn her off, especially if we got our\r\ndrinks before the appetizers. Oh, and don\u2019t disregard color. A plum-dark red might suck the festive air right out of the room, but is a white or ros\u00e9 too spritzer-like? Not taking her wishes seriously?\r\n\r\nBut do I want to trick her or do I want to make her a believer? And, if I decide to make her a believer, could I do it in time to catch our movie?\r\n\r\nI was debating whether a Zinfandel would be too massive and spicy as Elana and I entered the restaurant and sat in a booth. The waitress appeared instantly. I had to make a choice, and I had to make it now. I tucked practicality under my dinner napkin and willed myself to forget about the nuances of taste. Instead, I posed a simple question to myself: what wine makes you the happiest? The answer was equally as simple: ros\u00e9 Sangria. It was a little bit country, a little bit rock \u2018n roll\u2014and, I thought, a great introduction for a newbie. I ordered us a pitcher.\r\n\r\nWhen it arrived, the waitress poured our glasses. I waited for Elana. She took a sip. Her face did not change as she let the liquid slip down her throat. And then, in seemingly slow motion, she smiled. \u201cI love it!\u201d she cried, taking another gulp. I released the breath I hadn\u2019t realized I was holding. I knew it would have been okay if she\u2019d declared it terrible. We would have tried something else. But finding an area in which I, the younger sister, could educate Elana, the older sister, tasted sweeter than the Sangria itself.\r\n\r\n\u201cTo turning 30!\u201d I bellowed, holding up my own glass. And, for the first time in our lives, we toasted.