There is no one who is more irritating than an intellectual bully – that person who knew just about anything and would take every opportunity to let the world know about it. They will not only make you feel inadequate but they could sound truly condescending as well. In the wine world there is a related concept for that in the person of the wine snob. Unfortunately, this person could prove to be more aggravating since they come with the standard contempt for anything inferior in in wine. Often, they would take it upon themselves to lead wine-related conversations and chose what wine to get, assuming a self-appointed mandate as if their knowledge and wine skills give them the right to speak for or articulate other people’s preferences. Sometimes it is imperative to put them in their proper place. If that circumstance arises, here are some tips for you:
1. If you know that a wine snob is invited in the party you are joining, it helps to stock up with some wine knowledge. That way, you are in a better position to confront one if a wine-smartypants-situation presents itself. There is no better way to deal with him than to burst his bubble. Stand your ground if ever you are drawn to an argument. Do not be intimidated and say yes to their opinions or to contradict them when they hype up a wine that you do not find exceptional. It will only encourage their behavior.
2. Prepare some quick retort. Say a snob quips, “Oh, are you serving a 70 plus-point wine?” then you could simply declare, “Of course, since I do not need anybody to tell me what wine to like.”
3. One can also choose the more diplomatic approach. For example, if a wine snob could not simply contain himself, you could listen for a bit and perhaps learn a thing or two in the process. Also, by listening, you are probably letting him get some steam out and calm him just so the room could finally take a breather from his exertions.
4. You can also avoid them or ignore them. By doing so, you are depriving them of an audience. Some snobs might take pleasure in displaying their superiority. So one less opportunity to do that would be a classy way to eliminate them from your immediate radius.
Wine snobbery does not really connote something entirely negative. It could just mean the ways of a wine geek or a wine sophisticate who developed a swirling tic or an obsession for decanting their wine, among other wine rituals and protocols. A really good article about this entitled, In Defense of Wine Snobs is available for you to check.
However, we will be in agreement if – like me – you simply want to be spared from the attitude and deprecating language towards the amateurs and the consumption of “unsophisticated” wines. It is only appropriate to check these types of behavior especially if it is bordering on being rude or if it is adversely affecting the good vibes of your drinking party.