I’m not a “wine snob.” People who prefer attending major league baseball games aren’t sports snobs. Those who settle in with Tom Clancy or a classic Mark Twain aren’t considered book snobs. Seeing a show on Broadway does not make a person a theatre snob. An individual who is more inclined to gaze in amazement at a Monet rather than a child’s fingerpainting is not an art snob. These are all hobbies that require a similar appreciation for their respective crafts, as well as an understanding that the better quality items inevitably have bigger price tags. A wine enthusiast, then, hardly deserves the judgmental label we have been subjected to.
I appreciate wine of all kinds, from the humble table wines of Tuscany to the extravagant Chateaux of Bordeaux; from New Zealand’s racy sauvignon blanc to delicate pinot noir from the Russian River Valley; from a juicy grenache from the hills of Spain to Dom Perignon and absolutely everything in between. And yes, sometimes I am willing to pay more for a more unique or prestigious bottle. But these extravagant occasions are rare, and I deserve a luxury every now and then the same as any hobbyist. Mostly I enjoy the experience of an exceptional bottle of wine, regardless of its price or origins. Do I generally enjoy a fifteen dollar wine more than a four dollar one? Yes. Because it tastes better. Given the choice between USDA choice ground beef or a prime bone-in filet mignon, I would likewise choose the latter, even if it means spending more. It tastes better. I also prefer Cold Stone to Dairy Queen, freshly ground Columbian coffee to stale generic, Sashimi grade tuna to a can of Chicken of the Sea, as well as my dad’s homemade lasagna to Chef Boyardee. It’s not because it costs more. It just tastes better.
I resent hearing degrading comments from those who are unappreciative of wine as an art form. I hear them all the time. I am no more a snob than the gentleman who spends 60k on a luxury vehicle or the young lady that carries a four-hundred dollar purse. That man gets to work every day safely, the same as I do. But his car is more comfortable than mine and has hands-free bluetooth capabilities. And as far as I’m concerned, the woman’s designer purse holds her wallet and makeup just as well as a cheap vinyl bag from Target. But she likes the way it looks, its prestige gives her confidence and the color compliments her shoes. So I don’t judge them; I don’t call her a purse snob. They are entitled to spend their hard earned money on something they value and appreciate. Why am I not entitled to the same?