Can Wine Snobs Be Wine Educators?
Wine bloggers tend to be anti-snobs, or at least anti-elitists.
Have you noticed this? Look around the wine blogs. The majority of wine bloggers want to broaden the appeal of wine (that’s good), demystify it (that’s good too), and take out the snob factor (Is that good?)
Wine snobbery and wine elitism must be, I think, the inevitable result of becoming intimate with wine and the wine world over a long period of time…or at least over a period of time that includes intense study.
In this regard, wine is very similar to baseball. At some point with baseball you must, no, you enjoy, going to the statistics and feeding your brain with the arcane. The same is true with wine. After a while, after you’ve tasted through the regions and varietals, after you’ve investigated over oaking and the mysteries of terroir, you can either dig deeper or you give up the hobby. I think sometimes “digging deeper” is mistaken for elitism when in fact is only enthusiasm.
It’s a good thing to challenge other wine lovers’ palates, to engage in debate over the merits of a wine, to look deeper with your wine pals into the aromas and flavors and textures. But this is why we are a fairly close knit group: outside of our group we get nailed as snobs.
The irony is that is the elitists who usually end up doing the educating. So I guess the trick to being a good wine geek, just like the trick to being a good teacher or professor, is to try to instill in those that will listen a sense of the simple joys and mystery that wine can deliver to one’s life without suggesting there is anything wrong with not aspiring to elitism.
It strikes me that this is what the best wine bloggers are trying to do.