I know a bit about wine. I know more than the average bear but far less than a Sommelier. If you are a manager at an upscale Italian restaurant, you damn well should know the difference between Barolo and Brunello. Not knowing the basics is equivalent to not knowing your ass from a hole in the ground.
My appreciation for wine grew from necessity. Appreciation became love as I sat through countless wine tastings (tough job but someone had to do it). As my wine-love blossomed, I found myself studying it in my off-time. My boss took note of my interest and offered to pay for my Sommelier certification. There was a catch though. The certification would only be covered if I passed. I weighed my options and decided that $500 would be too hefty, if I didn’t pass (a lot of people don’t). If I lived in a city that actually had jobs available for wine stewards, the decision to forego the certification would have vexed me more.
I had a point here. Wait! Here it is:
Wine should be approachable, learning about it should be fun, and most of all, it should be enjoyed.
While I passed on my opportunity to become certified as a ‘wine snob’, many of my co-workers and friends didn’t. It was unpleasant to watch peers whom had once consumed ‘swill’ beer with me, transform in to utter assholes. I actually lost friendships over the grapey-substance. Going for drinks with the newly formed ‘wine frat’ just wasn’t the same. God forbid, the server didn’t present the wine with the label facing out, or the vintage was a year later than depicted on the menu. My once cool and casual friends were no longer capable of just enjoying a drink. They were armed with their new-found knowledge, and had to pick everything to pieces. They turned the wine into whine.
As I write this, I’m enjoying a frosty glass of Pinot Grigio, that was chilled in the freezer. It’s practically a wine slushie. Wine snobs would say that the proper temp for white wine should be around 50 degrees. It’s all a matter of taste, and I just happen to prefer my cold drinks to be cold. It could be a Piquepoul or a Gavi di Gavi. I honestly don’t care. as long as it’s unoaked, and cold.
This guy gets it:
Enjoy and imbibe. Just leave your snobbishness at the door. Someone’s always going to know more than you, and if they do, there’s a good chance they’re having less fun.