Over time, I have developed a deeper appreciation for the exquisite and multi-dimensional nature of wine and it has become an important part of my life, but no more important than my faith, my job, my friends, my passion for reading on a wide variety of topics, and a general zest for life overall. I have been able to achieve a deeper experience and understanding of the wines I drink, and that has enhanced some of my other experiences. For example, we are having a chicken and mushroom risotto for dinner tonight. My wife makes a really good risotto (you can view the chopped-up chicken and mushrooms below)!
As you can tell, I put a bit of thought into buying the wine in the first place and also when to drink it and what food to drink it with. Some people would claim "I take my wine too seriously, so I must be a wine snob", but I hardly think that is the case. To me it is a natural passion or avocation as I mentioned, much like others have a passion for working out or art or literature. Because I have developed a bit of knowledge over the years, it has become much easier to select a good (and good valued) wine to go with an everyday dinner. And I put more thought into the wines that match up with dinners when we host our "Single's and Strays" dinner parties, have friends over, or a special birthday or anniversary. (BTW, all birthdays and anniversaries are special!) But then, most of those events become special occasions and lifetime memories. Does that make me a wine snob? I don't think so.
I discussed this with some other wine aficionados and we felt that a wine snob had the following characteristics:
- They bragged about the excellent wines they had, but never found the opportunity to share the wine with friends or to give a bottle to a friend
- They want to have you admit to them having a superior knowledge of wine over you - they are as uninterested in sharing their knowledge as they are their wines - they just want to 'show off'.
- They talk a great deal about how much they have paid for expensive wines, and seem to only drink expensive wines
Whereas a wine enthusiast, we felt, had the following characteristics:
- They are happy to share wine, either by contributing a bottle, or by asking all who share to chip in for a special bottle of wine, or by setting some rules to have each person bring a bottle according to the rules established
- They listen to others and want to learn and also share their knowledge and are excited to help others develop an appreciation of wine and mature as a wine drinker and possibly collector
- They get as much and even greater pleasure out of finding a 'cheap' but great wine and would rather drink that than an expensive bottle of wine
I therefore, prefer to call myself a 'wine enthusiast', not a 'wine snob'. How about you?