The wine snob. You can swirl, sniff and sip them from a mile away. You may even have a few friends who you might consider semi-snobs. You know the type, the ones that start talking about how they only drink Pinot Noir and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a Chardonnay. They talk the talk and walk the walk, but when it comes down to it, they might just have to drink what you have.
These are the people who are very picky with their wines. They swirl the wine until you are dizzy, and not to mention parched. All you want is something to drink with your Lasagna and their on their third bottle trying to find the best wine to complement their Manicotti. They may be great people until you set a bottle of wine down in front of them. Wine can bring out the worst in people and for the wine snob it begins before the bottle is even open. They begin throwing around all of this wine lingo about how this wine is supposed to have “flannel-like” tannins and this one is supposed to be “flat-chested.”
These may also be your friends who feel that they must send at least one bottle back whenever you go out to eat. You’ve never had the guts to send back the bottle, even though you may have wanted to a few times. You hate to put the extra work on your server, but your friend could care less. They just seem so smug when ordering a bottle of wine and your sitting there wondering, “Where did this person come from?”
Your friends may disagree with you completely. They tell you that just because they search out good value for wine and they are not afraid to spend $50 on a bottle because they care about what they are drinking doesn’t mean they are a snob. So, in that sense maybe we are looking at the scenario all wrong and maybe you are slightly a wine snob yourself. You do, after all, enjoy a good vintage, especially if somebody else is buying.
Sure, the true wine snobs are those people who attend the $2,500 wine tastings, but you can also be a wine snob on a smaller budget. If you find yourself researching and going to tastings, then perhaps you are becoming a wine snob. If you go to the wine store intent on finding the best deal for your money and when you get home, you place your wine in the darkest, vibration free area, then perhaps you are on your way to being a wine snob.
When you uncork a bottle and poor a small amount in a glass for a good swirl, sniff and sift – what are you thinking to yourself? Are you a wine snob? Then you think about it, a little swirling never hurt anyone and I like to get the full bouquet before drinking the bottle. Then you begin to think about it a little longer. Perhaps you think about the wine and thoughts such as “oaky,” “austere,” “soft tannins,” and “a hint of chocolate” begin to enter your head. Then you realize it. You have hit rock bottom – you are a wine snob!
So, what’s a wine snob to do? There are several levels of wine snobbery and it is safe to say that even if you don’t buy the most expensive vintages, but you do care for your wines properly and you loved the gas preservation system that your spouse got you for Christmas and the rabbit wine opener that your sister got you is your pride and joy, then maybe you are only a semi-snob and that’s okay.
The next level of snobbery is an upper-level snob. Those people that are searching the Internet for great buys and they might even hit a wine auction here or there. Perhaps they buy wines by the case and routinely spend $50 on a bottle of wine for dinner. These are those people who might be saving up for that ultimate wine tasting in Napa Valley that is going to cost them a couple grand. They really like the idea of being an elite and ultimate snob. They have plans for the wine cellar they are going to build in their basement. This is definitely an upper-level snob.
Then we have the ultimate wine snob. These are those people who make educated decisions and they are not afraid to drop a couple grand on a wine tasting in California. They feel they are not living their life to the fullest if they are not continually searching down that $2,000 Merlot. You could name any wine to this person, and they could provide a full flavor profile so vividly that your mouth will water. This is the ultimate snob.
No matter what level of snob you are, embrace it. It’s a knowledge that not everybody has. Use it to your advantage and treat your friends and family to good wine and share your wealth of wine information in a friendly way. Don’t force it on them; they will come around one of these days.