Being a wine snob takes effort. No one is going to revere the terroir you walk on if you don’t take the time to showcase your ability to sniff out TCA from a mile away. Still, in a world where blogger after blogger is trying to empower uneducated drinkers to trust their own Boones Farm-riddled palates, someone needs to step up and be an example. That person, friends, could be you.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to be a wine snob. You’re welcome.
1. Use Unique Descriptors Only a Real Expert Would Understand
Describing the undercarriage of your California Chardonnay as having the aroma of “hay freshly fallen off a donkey’s back” will paint a vivid picture for those around you while also illustrating your in-depth knowledge of Old World agriculture. Forget using terms like “jammy” or “fruit-forward” – you only drink wines that remind you of “sun-speckled strawberry crushed by the bare foot of a well-read virgin” or that’s “more angular than a stale Cool Ranch-style Dorito.”
2. Talk About Vintage in Excruciating Detail
When the sommelier makes you aware of a vintage change, offering you the 2014 bottle of Bob’s House of Cabernet rather than the 2013, promptly erupt into an apoplectic fit at the mere prospect. Bonus points if you loudly announce to your table exactly why you wouldn’t ever let the swill that is a 2013 every touch your sainted taste buds. Double bonus points if the people several tables over can hear enough to benefit from your advice, too.
3. Be Contradictory. Always.
If the people in your tasting group (you do have a tasting group… right?) are pro-oak, you must immediately and adamantly lecture them on how using oak destroys the natural qualities of varietals. Make sure to mention how oak is for weak winemakers and you would never. If, however, your obviously inferior mates are anti-oak themselves, clearly you must make your voice heard by taking the opposite stance. Wax poetically about the soft, buttery goodness of whatever brioche bomb you read about recently and emphasize how much you’ve evolved past the boring purity of traditionalists.
4. Declare Yourself the Temperature Police
Make sure everyone knows two things: what temperature wine is supposed to be served at and that whatever their serving is 100% not at the proper temperature. Prove it by touching the bottle briefly and wincing, then purse your lips and sigh heavily. Be a good sport and take a glass anyway, but look crestfallen and shake your head at regular intervals as you encourage other guests to use their hands to warm up overly chilly reds.
5. Name Drop as Often as Possible
How will people know you have that bottle of ’82 Margaux at home if you don’t constantly remind them? Bring up the subject of your prize whenever anyone else tries to talk about their own cool wine finds, but especially when the evening is nearing a close and everybody is too tired to actually come back to your place for a sip. You know you’re not going to open it, and sure, people might call you a cork tease, but that’s not the point. The point is that you have that damned bottle of ’82 Margaux, and people should know that about you. After all, that’s why you mentioned it in your Match.com profile.
6. Wear a Tastevin
And wear it everywhere.
7. Practice Disdain – You May Need a Mirror
All wine snobs have a master’s degree in side-eye with an undergraduate (or certificate, if they’re lazy) in a related subject like eye-rolling or smirking. These are skills that need constant upkeep, however, so work them into your daily routine. You need to be ready to throw shade whenever some wine noob hesitantly mentions smelling roses in their Malbec. Ha! Noob. Verbal daggers can be subtle yet effective in these situations as well. A well-timed “Reeeeeaaalllly….” Paired with a conspiratorial glance at your best wine bro will definitely let everyone else know that you do not agree with the new guy’s assessment of that Pinot (which you never would’ve bothered opening this young anyway…).
8. Sigh When the Waiter Brings Over Your Wine Glasses
Same goes when you’re served a glass of wine at somebody’s house and you’re handed some stemless mutant of a goblet or….. <fingers pearls and fans face>….a Mason jar. Feel free to avoid awkward situations by bringing your own Riedel or Spiegelau. You’re not an animal and you shouldn’t have to drink like one.
Interested in some actual education to shore up your façade? Ditch the snobbery and invest in wine education that makes sense. All the “dried plum aromas” and “hints of graphite” in the world won’t be nearly as satisfying as learning how to pick out an affordable wine you truly love.