Girl tasting white wine out of Grapeline wine glass at Ponte Vineyard Inn

There are four types of wine people. Wine guzzlers, who’ll happily gulp down anything you hand them. Wine geeks, who care deeply about the science behind a great glass of wine. Wine enthusiasts, who want to know more, learn more, drink more and just revel in anything wine related. And then there are the wine snobs.

Ah, the wine snobs. You know who they are. They only drink certain vintages. They know more than everyone else about anything wine-related. And, they look down their upturned noses at the amateurs who swallow at a wine tasting rather than snootily discharging each sample into the communal spit bucket.

Worried you might be a wine snob? Chill. Here are the signs that prove you’re probably not.

  1. You couldn’t care less about how people hold their wine glasses. Yes, cupping the glass in your palm might raise the temperature of the wine a few degrees. Whatever. It’s not going to happen before you finish your glass anyway.
  2. You drink wines from every region and every country. Wine snobs often latch on to one specific terroir or region, swearing that it’s the only thing to drink. I think that’s nonsense. What a waste. So many great wines, so many places. Why limit yourself?
  3. You drink wine even if they score fewer than 94 points, if they come from a “bad” year, or were made by lesser known vintners. In short, you experiment and trust your own palate. You’re a human being with your very own opinions and preferences, not a lemming.
  4. You’ll drink wine no matter how the bottle was stoppered. Wine snobs won’t drink wine from screw top bottles. You wouldn’t turn away a perfectly good Syrah just because it was easy to get at, right?
  5. You never look down your nose at someone because they know less about wine than you. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy a fine glass of Merlot. If the person with you insists on lecturing you about soil minerality and wine glass geometry, then enjoyment gives way to irritation.
  6. You wouldn’t serve someone a ‘lesser’ wine because they don’t know as much as you. You wouldn’t, right? Because that’s just mean, and you’d be missing out on the chance to enlighten your friend's palate. OK, if I’m being honest, I’ve done that once or twice, but I feel pretty guilty about it and I know it’s wrong.
  7. You let your friends enjoy, taste and appreciate wine any way they want. Enjoying wine is about the experience, the friends, the food, the ambiance. Wine can be enjoyed on any level. Someone who really loves wine just gets that. Wine snobs don’t.

So, how’d you score? Hopefully, you’re not in the wine snob category. But that does not mean you're immune to some raised-eyebrow know-it-all inflicting his unwanted expertise upon you.

What should you do when confronted by a wine snob? Do what I do. Pop an ice cube in your Cabernet, loudly slurp up a mouthful, swallow hard, and then express your satisfaction with a loud ahhhhhhh. Then watch the pedantic blowhard back away from you in pure disgust. Pleasantly unpretentious evening ensured!


~ Kay Syrah

Wine Country Guru Gal

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