We all know at least a couple of wine geeks, and plenty of pretentious wine snobs, too. The geeks don’t bother me, maybe because I am one. I love wine and I like talking about wine and sharing it with others. If that makes me a wine geek, I accept the descriptor. I admit to having friends who are wine geeks, too, so yes, I am a wine geek. Wine is one of my passions. A wine snob on the hand is a different story. To be knowledgeable about wine and to enjoy it doesn’t make one a snob.
The difference between a wine geek and a wine snob is that the wine geek truly loves wine, gets excited about sharing wine with someone else because he or she wants to share the passion and the pleasure of wine. It’s all about the motivation and the attitude. The wine snob on the other hand purchases a label or price tag to impress, and then never fails to brag about how much he (yes, it’s usually a guy, though this club isn’t as exclusive as wine snobs would like) paid for the bottle. The snob then launches into a soliloquy about his most famous wine exploits, always mentioning and not so casually the cost, again with the intention of impressing his victims rather than pleasing them. He may then launch into a tirade about the ignorance of others on the matter of wine or zero in on some esoteric fact about wine. Who cares about the ph of the wine if the wine tastes good?
In short, the wine geek is about sharing a pleasurable experience and pleasing others, while the wine snob is about impressing others and inflating his own knowledge, importance, or deep financial pockets. So, I am proud to be a wine geek and pleased to meet others, but please leave the wine snobs home. Enjoy!