The 4 Stages of Wine Snobbery | VinePair

The 4 Stages of Wine Snobbery

2 minute Read


It’s one thing to be a wine geek and love, know and breathe everything about wine. It’s quite another thing to be a wine snob with a set rules for how you’ll drink your wine, where you’ll drink your wine and which wine you’ll drink.

There are of course “degrees” of wine snobbery. We leave it up to you to decide where you fall in on the “snob list” with our “comprehensive” four-level guide to wine snobbery.

Level 1: The Mild Novice Snob

Snob PIc

You really don’t know squat about wine, but you watched “Sideways” 50 times, so you are now the “expert” of your friends. You swirl everything that’s liquid and in a glass, so much so that you’re known now as “Spilly.” You were reduced to seeking psychotherapy after a friend of yours dared to bring boxed wine — gasp —to a party. You haven’t spoken to her in weeks, even though you two were childhood friends. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!

Level 2: The Moderate & Somewhat Tolerable Snob

Snob PIc

The novice snob is the most annoying simply because he or she has no real knowledge of wine. You, however, have graduated into the moderate snob. You bring the best wine to parties and offer to do food and wine pairings for your friends’ big events — engagement parties, anniversaries, and baby showers. But this service comes at a cost; you simply can’t help throwing your experience into every conversation: Did you know I worked my way through grad school as a sommelier? Did you know I served wine to X celebrity and Y celebrity? You’re proud and can’t help yourself. We just wish you might shush it a little with the bragging. But, of course, keep bringing that good wine over!

Level 3: The Sophisticated Wine Snob

Snob PIc

You bring a decanter everywhere you go, no matter the restaurant. In fact, if God forbid, you travel without one, (hahaha, that would never happen, right?) you call to ask the restaurants you’re planning to attend to see what type of decanters they’re using. Once you know, you then instruct them to do a cleansing ritual akin to a baptism and ask the restaurant manager or sommelier to make sure no one breathes near it for the next 24 hours or until you’ve arrived.

When you do finally arrive at the restaurant, you insist on picking out the wine for the whole table, even though the other guests with you were requesting beer. BeerAs if! 

You told your kids they would have to share a room because you’re replacing one of theirs with a wine cellar. When they cried, you told them doing this would be for the good of the family. And you have no regrets!

Level 4: The Over-the-Top Wine Snob

Snob PIc

You have never opened a bottle of wine that was younger than you. You look at your other wine connoisseur friends’ decanters, snub them and then talk down to your very patient friends like you’re that guy in the 1980’s Grey Poupon commercials. You were born in California.

Your nose can detect anything in any wine bottle you open, and if others offer you an “unsuitable” wine glass, (heaven forbid!) you whip one of yours right out of your smoking jacket or pantsuit blazer, and push that other heinous glass aside.

In truth, no one likes you — not even other wine snobs. But your wine budget is akin to Kim Kardashian’s budget for shoes each year, so people tolerate you in order to drink the good stuff.

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