What is a wine Snob?
(Please feel free to take my Quiz after you have read my blog and have a little fun)
I am a firm believer that if you understand why you are doing a certain action, then that action becomes more natural and more easily learned. The same holds true for learning about wine and the procedures to help you enjoy them.
According to Oxford Dictionary a SNOB is: a person with an exaggerated respect for high social positions or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and looks down on those regarded as socially inferior.
I would venture to say that a vast majority of wine enthusiasts or experts in their field are not snobs. In my experiences it is the ones with less wine knowledge that tend to appear snobby. When I hear the word ‘wine snob’, I thought more of one who is pretentious rather than snobby. It often is one who is pretending to know more than they actually do which often comes off as unnatural and awkward.
PRETENTIOUS by definition means: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed. In other words, pretending to know why you’re doing something yet you have no idea why. Therefore, if you wish not to be labelled a wine snob simply do not be pretentious. Don’t put on airs and say or do things just because you saw or heard someone else say or do it. Simply learn or ask why you swirl a glass or decant. Read about wine and the different varietals and their characteristics.
Be open to learning and you’ll know more. I get it, wine can be very intimidating and no one wants to look unfamiliar or unacknowledged. But I think it looks even sillier if the waiter hands you a cork after opening the bottle of wine you ordered and you stick it up your nose but have no inkling whatsoever as to why you are doing so. If the wine is ‘off’, you can tell by a simple whiff of the cork held under your nose (which I reserve for well trained wine enthusiast and professionals) and if it’s off it will display a wet cardboard or moldy smell. The other reason is said to be done only for tradition since if the wine is off it will be detectable when you smell the small portion poured into the glass by the waiter for tasting. I tend to get a lot more info from that than the cork. Half the battle is knowing then it will come more naturally to you and look a whole lot less pretentious or snobby.
The answer is to keep learning in a down to earth way about wine. I urge you to keep reading about wine, keep tasting different wines and keep enjoying one of natures perfect beverages. Once you start to understand why you are enjoying a particular wine, or why you swirl your wine or decant it then you have started your journey into enjoying wine without the snobbery.