When your food doesn’t pair with your rosé, throw it away. Just kidding — but we do take our vino seriously, whether we’re planning wine-themed birthday parties or pairing our fave Girl Scout cookies with wine. But how do you pull off the perfect vino-centric ‘gram? We sipped on the fab advice of Whitney Adams, a rockstar certified sommelier and host of The Whitney A Channel on YouTube, for her top tips for posting a wine photo on Instagram. Your beer-obsessed roomie might just come over to the dark side…

Tips for the Perfect Wine Photo

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1. Think outside the bottle. We tend to post bottle shots when we stumble upon that perfect Sauv blanc or swoon-worthy Chardonnay, but it’s better to expand your focus. “It’s always a challenge to try and photograph wine in a new way that gets people excited. A picture of a bottle of wine next to a glass just isn’t going to cut it,” says Whitney.

“Show wine within the context of food, and post shots that are more about wine lifestyle: drinking with friends at your favorite wine bar, crushing grapes with your feet at a winery, sharing a lipstick that won’t get on your wine glass.” (Okay, fine, that lipstick kiss on your tumbler is next-level cute too)…

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2. Location, location, location. “There are only so many staged shots you can take at your house. Although if you do, invest in some good surfaces (marble slab, wood board, etc.) to keep it interesting,” says Whitney. Need some inspiration for a charming cheeseboard and accompaniments? Check out 15 must-haves for the ultimate cheese board, and you’ll have more photo ideas than glasses of wine to drink!

“I also like to mix it up and get out on the town. I’m most inspired by my travels and eating and drinking out at my favorite spots. If an Instagram is one of the goals of an outing [and let’s be real, sometimes it is], I’ll make an early reservation or do a little happy hour-ing to grab a photo in daylight or golden hour, my favorite lighting for an Instagram shot.”

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3. Do what it takes. “By now we’ve all seen it — that person in a restaurant standing on their chair getting an overhead shot of their food (and it very well might’ve been me),” admits Whitney. “I have no shame when it comes to getting the shot! Since you can’t always control the environment, especially bright windows or ceiling lights and unwanted reflections, think creatively about how you can problem-solve. Sometimes that will mean getting a friend to hold a dinner napkin or linen above your phone to diffuse the light and eliminate shadows,” suggests Whitney. Other times, it means trying one of these handy tips to turn you into an Instagram pro.

4. When in doubt, food. File that under “Life motto.” “Pairing wines to types of food that could get tons of likes on their own is a sure-thing. Think: Pizza, fried chicken, a juicy burger, dim sum, donuts… you get the idea. Wine + food = home run,” says Whitney. And don’t feel guilty, a new study found that Instagramming your food may make it taste better.

5. Zoom in on the “wow.” This easy strategy can help boost likes on posts beyond the wine-realm as well. “I’m big on capturing movement and taking pics that fall into the #FoodPorn of wine category. Something with wow-factor, like an overflowing Champagne tower, sabering a bottle of bubbly, a pretty shot of ruby red wine being poured into glasses. So much more fun and interesting than a static picture of a wine bottle,” says Whitney.

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6. Feature yourself. Worth a reminder: “People follow you because they like you and want to see pictures of you too. Some of my best performing photos are ones that I’m in — where I’m drinking wine (sometimes straight out of the bottle), holding up a giant magnum, taking a shot of sherry out of a bone luge…” Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to show a bit of your unique personality.

7. Keep it natural and bright. “Think of shooting wine as you would food — natural light and dynamic colors and textures are best. That’s why I love sparkling wine and rosé (and those tend to get the best response!),” says Whitney. Here’s her ultimate recipe for success: “When it comes to editing photos and filters, I’m a ride-or-die VSCO user. F2 is my jam, and I always do the following things to every photo: increase sharpness, contrast and saturation, and lower warmth to a little cooler temperature.” We don’t know about you, but we’re writing those guidelines down and sticking to them Every. Single. Time.

8. Hashtag it up. Now’s not the time to be hashtag shy. “Wine is such a subjective thing and often difficult to describe. One person’s sweet is another person’s dry. I steer clear of tasting notes and prefer talking more about how the wine makes me feel or being a little tongue-in-cheek with the captions. Try to keep it light and fun. I’m a big fan of emojis too. It’s 2016, the language of emoji is universal!”

Who’s with us when we say we want to clink glasses with Whitney STAT? Tag us in your favorite wine shot @BritandCo.

(Photos via Whitney Adams)