[BFX's own Pamela, Elina and Briony
drinking posing for a Steller's Jay Photoshoot]
Our office is no stranger to good wine. After recently working on a couple of fun wine related projects (like the newly designed See Ya Later Ranch website) we almost feel like calling ourselves wine snobs. Almost.
Spotting a wine snob is a simple task, understanding and conversing with one is an entirely different story. Wine snobs are known to take their time staring, sniffing, swirling and sipping from their glass. After completing a thorough examination, they will often declare their judgment 'tar, roses, black cherry, full palate, full-bodied with silk tannins, long finish'. To which you might find yourself bellowing “Excuse Me?” But no, these people are not crazy, at least according to the literal definition of the word. What they are, to their very core, is wine snobs. To a novice, the world of wine and wine snobbery can be an intimidating and pretentious place. Here are some tips to help you navigate this highbrow hobby.
Wine snobs speak a different language. If you are going to converse with them, then you must learn to understand them. Here is some common wine speak terminology:
Balance: The level of harmony between acidity, tannins, fruit, oak, and other elements in a wine; a perceived quality that is more individual than scientific
Body: The impression of weight on one’s palate; light, medium and full are common body qualifiers
Dry: A wine containing no more than 0.2 percent unfermented sugar
Earthy: A term used to describe aromas and flavors that have a certain soil-like quality
Green: A term used to describe under-ripe, vegetal flavors in a wine
Hollow: A term used to describe a wine that doesn’t have depth or body
Maceration: The process of allowing grape juice and skins to ferment together, thereby imparting color, tannins and aromas
Terroir: A French term for the combination of soil, climate and all other factors that influence the ultimate character of a wine
For a more thorough list of wine terminology visit Wine Online
Simply understanding basic wine speak is not enough to engage a wine snob. You must be up-to-date on current wine trends. It is important to do your research. Wine Snobs detest the ill informed and will label you a wannabe if you are not prepared. Here is one topic to help get you started:
Selecting appropriate stemware is an important factor to consider. This is particularly true when drinking a high quality and expensive wine. Now, even the best glassware cannot save your taste buds when drinking plonk (a term used to describe cheap, poor-tasting wine), but it has been argued that the shape and quality of a glass can help a good wine reach its full potential. In this regard, a recent trend has been emerging amongst the snobbiest of wine snobs. The trend being, showing up at restaurants with their own wine glasses. While it is true that many restaurants use sub-par stemware, it is also likely that these restaurants are similarly lacking in the wine they have to offer. One could argue that if you are not going to be drinking a high caliber wine, then what is the point of carting your precious stemware with you? However, remember that before you form an opinion, make sure to do your research!