WINE SNOB VS. NON-SNOB by Chris Kassel
A wine snob feels no need to justify his snobbery; it is what it is. A non-snob feels compelled to announce (to an uninterested cosmos) that although he knows more about wine than you—a common street drunk—he will not lord it over you unless you happen to disagree with his opinion on a given wine, like Beaujolais Nouveau which you shouldn’t like even if you do.
A wine snob knows going in that her years of palate-honing have resulted in a certain sophistication in taste, and tends to prefer pricier wines from exclusive producers. A non-snob is on an endless quest to find cheap wine that is not repulsive and loaded with toxins, then when she finally finds one, chortles superciliously that you don’t have to spend a lot of moolah to find wines not suited to sterilizing the septic field.
A wine snob will never order an expensive fifth of Premier cru classé Bordeaux when dining with peasants he knows would rather have a beer. A non-snob snorts at the prices on the restaurant’s reserve list, but will happily guzzle a Premier cru if you buy it, and will take extraordinary measures to flaunt enough snobby knowledge to convince you that it won’t be a wasted freebie.
A wine snob is perfectly comfortable using terms like ‘damp saddle leather’ and ‘cat urine’ to describe a wine, because she knows that chemically, that’s precisely what these aromas are. A non-snob rolls her eyes at such nonsensical pretention, even while privately owning that the wine smells like a filthy litter box in a horse stable.
A wine snob understands that food and wine pairings are pretty much a joke, and that a really fine glass of vintage wine will be muted, stifled and ruined with anything else you consume with it. A non-snob is always trying to make wine into an everyday beverage, and hence, lies awake in a cold sweat trying to figure out which wine to serve with vinegar-flavored breakfast cereal.
A wine snob can tell you precisely the sensory threshold at which a Brettanomyces infection becomes a revolting gack-fest. A non-snob chokes down Château Musar and suggests, in all her annoyingly anal political correctness, that since Arabs have been making wine longer than Californians, they should know what it’s supposed to taste like.
A wine snob thinks he knows more about wine than you, which is perfectly ok. A non-snob snickers at esoteric knowledge, and thinks that sheer ‘realness’ places him on a wine plane above a wine snob’s, regardless of how little they may know. To a non-snob, snobs are people to be mocked and parodied, and when you think about it, if you think you’re somehow better than a snob, that’s about as snobby as you can get.
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