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Tag Archives: wine snobs

Are you a wine snob?

wineadvice

wine snobThe cyber-ether has been abuzz with accusations of wine snobbery, and even Blake Gray — who recently shared a bottle of $10 South African chenin blanc with me — has been accused of snobbery. Trust me: People who drink cheap wine with the Wine Curmudgeon aren’t wine snobs. 

All of this back and forth means it’s time to set the record straight. Note that wine snobbery doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with winespeak, scores or high alcohol. It’s much more nefarious than that. Hence, the Wine Curmudgeon’s eight questions to tell whether you’re a wine snob. 

• Do you tell other people what to drink?

• Do you criticize other people when they drink wine that you’ve told them not to drink?

• Do you think wine quality is a function of price, and that all expensive wine is inherently better than cheap wine?

• Do you only drink certain varietals, like cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay, because other varietals aren’t good enough for you?

• Do you only drink wine from certain regions of the world, because other regions aren’t good enough for you?

• Do you know everything there is to know about wine, and aren’t shy about telling others how smart you are?

• Do you gladly share wine knowledge with others, or are you glad you know more than they do?

• Do you remember the last time you tried a wine you didn’t think you would like?

Answer yes to more than one of the first six questions, or a yes plus a no to the seventh or eighth, and there’s no doubt: You’re a wine snob.

Winebits 338: Wine snobs edition

winenews

wine snobs“I don’t drink that”: Radio host, wine judge, and raconteur Tim McNally addresses those of you, who, for no particular reason, refuse to drink certain wines. McNally takes on everyone who has ever turned up their nose at white, rose, riesling, imports, and most of what’s in between, calling it “something which is encapsulated in the ‘Don’t screw me up with the facts lifestyle.”  Plus, being a New Orleanian, he works in a football reference, which is nicely done.

Enough with the tasting notes already: Someone, no doubt heir to the English comedic tradition that is so admired here, stuck fake tasting notes over the real notes on wines at a London grocery store. “Agile clam flavours with a suspicion of red kryptonite,” anyone? Or, as, Jake Wallis Simons writes in The Telegraph: “I doubt I’m alone in suspecting that it’s all just a case of the Emperor’s new clothes.” Not that that sentiment has ever appeared anywhere on the blog, of course. The good news is that the world is changing, and the traditional tasting note — what the headline to this story calls “a load of old drivel” — seems to mean less than it used to. 

The truth about wine: This infographic from the Wine Folly website called “Being a Wine Connoisseur” pretty much says everything that needs to be said about too many wine drinkers (though it is a bit harsh on supermarket wine). My favorite: The “Wine over time” bit, describing how we feel about a crappy wine two hours after we drink it. Which, of course, is that it tastes much better. Wine Folly, which is part wine education site and part wine-related gifts retailer, does a very nice job, and makes me wish I had done some some of the things that it does.

Winebits 311: Direct shipping, wine snobs, wine trends

winenews

Wine by mail: The U.S. Postal Service, which sees wine shipments as a key to its survival, is one step closer to putting wine in your mailbox. Influential U.S. Senator  Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) endorsed the idea recently, saying the proposal would allow the postal service to better compete against UPS and FedEx and add $225 million to its annual revenue. The Wine Curmudgeon has his doubts about whether the postal service can deliver wine effectively, given his past experiences with the agency and its failure to deliver his mail. Hence Schumer’s enthusiasm doesn’t do much for me. Plus, his estimate of $225 million in revenue is almost five times the original postal service estimate. But it looks like the agency will get the authority to deliver wine sometime next year.

More than expensive wine: Charles Antin, a wine expert who has tasted most of the world’s great wines, has a confession: Expensive wine ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. “But just as I think that if you’re not drinking aged wine, you’re missing out, I think that if you’re only drinking collectible wine, you’re also missing out.” Or, as Antin notes elsewhere in the article, he was so busy chasing thousand dollar bottles of wine that he didn’t drink rose. And he was the worse for it. The piece, if a little jargony, is well worth reading, for it points out that wine is about more than what the wine snobs say it is. It’s also about sharing the joy of wine, and that it doesn’t matter how much the wine costs then.

Slower economic growth? The wine industry is recovering from the recession, but not the way it wants to. That’s the consensus from a recent wine business seminar, as reported in the Press Democrat newspaper. Baby Boomers, who drove the explosive growth of the U.S. wine industry in the 1990s, are retiring and will be progressively less able to afford expensive wines, analysts said. Younger generations have other interests, including spirits, and the  Millennials are often more burdened with debt than older demographic groups. The article, mostly an overview of what we’ve been writing about on the blog for the past several years, is notable because it quotes leading industry experts offering their wisdom. Which means there’s a chance the wine business might start paying attention.

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