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What is a wine snob, and am I one?


Was browsing in a rural wine shop yesterday, and came across an interesting wine. I enquired of the sales person as to the characteristics of the wine…priced at £7… because I felt the price should have been higher.
The response. “You must be one of those wine snobs” caught me off guard. So I left.


What’s wrong in being a wine snob? Is this the same as being a wine bore?


Gosh! That is awful! Not only because they just lost a customer, but mostly because it’s such a rude and dismissive remark! :frowning_face:

It says more about him/her’s insecurity about your question than about your supposed ‘snobbery’!


I go into Majestic Wimbledon to pick up a L&W reserves case, I’m the guy with the case of the ‘pricey stuff’ (despite everything being under £20/bottle IB). I go into Wimbledon Wine Cellar, 200 yards down the road, and I’m nervously sidling round shelves of bottles costing 2x or 3x more than I’ve ever spent on a bottle of wine feeling like a complete impostor. Everything is comparative. Does sound a tad rude though.


I think a wine snob would be someone who won’t drink a wine because its not from a certain producer, price point or certain vintage. The shop you were in were just rude, a wine at £7 should have some character to it so you asked the right sort of question - its not a £4 Tesco value Spanish wine in a plastic bottle!


A snob is someone you don’t like because they know more about a certain subject than you. :wink:


That’s such a shame that you got that reaction from them! If you’d been dismissing the wine because the price then maybe them calling you a snob would make more sense (but it’s still bloody rude!) but from the sounds of it you were asking an honest question out of curiosity and not being a snob!


Go back in the shop, pick up the bottle again and say “Seven pounds?? Pah! I don’t touch the corkscrew for less than a hundred!”

Then spin around on your heel and leave :+1:


This country is inherently aggrieved and suspicious of any person liking something ‘fancy’, more expensive and in fact has a kind of boasting about NOT knowing something. Weird :joy:


The phrase really annoys me. We don’t call lawyers ‘legal snobs’ or bricklayers ‘building snobs’ when those people know a lot about their chosen interests or professions.
The original definition of a snob was someone who copied their social betters, aping their manners. The phrase might be a hangover from when wine was considered an upper class prerogative.


He actually should have thanked you and advised his boss to consider increasing the price of the wine. He might have gotten a promotion. It was hardly pretentious if you to suggest that one of the wines was very well priced.


My “favourite” wine snob was the awful woman on a wine tour who refused to taste anything unless the retail bottle price was over £20. This was in Tuscany a good few years ago so she missed a lot of good stuff!


I’m speechless…!!! :scream::scream:


Even worse, she refused on behalf of her poor down-trodden husband as well!


What a schmuck!
To me, this betrays a strange sort of ignorance about wine appreciation. What did Wilde say… “The cost of everything and the value of nothing”…? :thinking:


A wine snob is interested in scores out of 100 and wine prices. I get loads of pleasure from well made unpretentious wines of all sorts. I have (most through tastings and eight years working in the wine trade) tried some very expensive and sometimes wonderful wine, that is now way beyond what I can justify paying for. Being able to appreciate wine and having some knowledge of what you are drinking makes the experience about more than getting slightly (or very) squiffy.

Some people are threatened by people who are more knowledgeable or smarter than them. Wine snobs are quite distinct from genuine wine lovers.


Oh…I’m interested in wine scores, as high as possible for as low a price point as possible; I certainly place some merit and trust in the professionals who spend their lives judging the qualities of wine. Should I get my coat? :thinking:

As with most things I’m actually interested in though, those are just two possible variables
/criteria, they’re not a sacred unbreakable rule.

I think it boils down to making a distinction between genuine passion about, interest in, pleasure from and the joie de vivre that wine brings, versus simply being pretentious about it.

When all else is said and done, what counts is whether (and how much) I like it, when I smell it and taste it.

I like to play a little joke when tasting wine to diffuse any snobbery…I lift the glass to my ear to see what it sounds like… :wink:


I don’t think I’m a wine snob (I’ll drink anything, well at least once and often twice just make sure). Snobbery in my book is looking down on the choices/actions of others, and is often based on a lack of any real understanding.

However I confess I am a wine bore - though have learnt from experience to suppress my inner bore unless those I am with invite him out…