There’s a duality to the term “wine snob.” For example, the term is normally used to describe someone with an undesirable elitism about wine. I doubt anyone would confess to being a wine snob. And yet at the same time, I suspect there are those who secretly admit to being “snobby about wine.” They may even find the term an endearing badge of honor. But, if the term has a negative connotation, how is it possible for someone to embrace it?
It’s easier than you’d expect.
Many aficionados are undeniably proud of the time and effort they’ve spent in their rewarding hobby. Achieving this expertise has required them to read, research, and educate themselves to a level of competence on the subject, and they’re proud of this. But when this knowledge and enthusiasm is seen as “showing off,” they’re viewed as “snobs.”
But wine is supposed to be fun for everyone. So, in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy’s erstwhile comedy one-liners, “You Might Be a Redneck,” let’s take a look at some scenarios that will help you self-diagnose your own demeanor.
You Might be a Wine Snob if:
- You turn your nose up at wines costing less than $20
- You refuse to buy or drink wine that is bottled with a screw-cap
- You insist on a specific shape of glass for each wine
- You’re constantly swirling and sniffing while talking to others
- You swish sips of wine noisily around in your mouth
- You ask your host how many points were awarded to the wine he’s pouring
- You frequently drop the names of winemakers or wineries you’ve visited
- You frequently use words like “structure, ”balance,” “tannin,” and “terroir”
- You’re quick to tell others about the fruit aromas and flavors you find in a wine
- You shrug when others don’t find the same aromas and flavors as you
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I’ve been, inadvertently or otherwise, guilty of a few of these at one time or another. Yet, I definitely don’t consider myself a wine snob—at least not in any derogatory sense. Thus, I suspect that despite our best intentions, we sometimes flaunt things a bit by being too verbose or flaunting about our wine knowledge or opinions. So, word to the wise: If you don’t want to be mistakenly labeled a snob, try to be more sensitive to the non-wine people around you. Because, wine is supposed to be fun!