Wine Snobbery

“A complex wine with a powerful nose, raspberry aromas dominating over smoked notes coming from the crianza. Silky on the mid palate with a tannic finish.”

Today’s debates are frequently about the speculation whether such description is actually consumer friendly or in fact the opposite. Critics keep on pointing their fingers on professionals who at some stage have been stigmatized to stiff, arrogant, disdainful and snobbish creatures. I keep wondering why the wine trade is considered such a snobbish business. Because of the way we look, or used to look? Because of the way we talk or used to talk? Because of the way we hold and stir the wine glass? I have to admit that I have seldom encountered myself surrounded by so much bullshit!

Oenology, viticulture, sensorial analysis are professions like others. It requires five years to study the art of wine making and like every academic line of work the wine business too does have its specialized terminology. Why should we simplify the wine jargon and reduce it to a colloquial tongue? Speaking to a surgeon, a chemist, a physician, a computer geek, a philosopher, a poet or any other artist how many times do we actually feel that we haven’t completely understood what they were talking about? How many times have we witnessed the scene of a patient telling a doctor to please translate the just said into colloquial language?

So, if all the other professions’ words are far and foremost accepted and respected why would and should the wine business adopt itself to a simplified performance distancing itself from its derivation?

Wine people are no snobs and if they are then as much as are artists, scientists, designers, chefs and others. Occupations that managed to put up classification systems dividing the low, from the common and the superior will most likely always underlie the snob stigma. Wine in particular has evolved to a glamorous matter, even though it is often forgotten that the actual winemaking process is a decent farmer’s trade with no luxury office whatsoever. Even so, if wine has developed in the mentioned alluring direction I keep asking myself whether there is need to make a fuss about it. Is there no need for little luxuries in our society? Of course there is as much as double moral. But then again I shouldn’t care for there will always be need to criticise something but that is also only human.

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