The Definitive Guide to Fauxing Wine Snobbery
aka how to out-snob the snob
1. The “Oh you’ve never had….” snob
Some bish tries to pull this on you, sideswipe them with a simple yet classic one-up maneuver.
In this particular case, I like to pull out the red sancerre card.
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Steps of service in one-upping a snob:
Snob: “Oh you’ve never had Dkaizfivnoeapiozejwia?”
You: *nod*, *smile*, *glance away like you see something more interesting than this stupid conversation*, “What about red Sancerre? That’s fabulous.”
Note: Under any circumstance, do not acknowledge the enemy and their petty suggestion as to what you should be drinking. They’re wrong. The end.
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FYI red Sancerre/Sancerre rouge is pinot noir (remember this fact with “Noir from the Loire”, it rhymes, easy peasy). Without getting into too much detail, Sancerre rouge is a light-bodied red that’s super drinkable, most often affordable and impossible to dislike. It’s like the Uniqlo of wine.
Oh, what about producers they (/you) ask? Well, in any area where I’m unfamiliar and making sweeping statements about grandiose subjects (i.e., wine suggestions à la minute, the Korea demilitarized zone, etc.) I always go with my buddy Kermit.
No, not that Kermit, my friend. I’m talking about the one, the only, Kermit Lynch.
I could write for eons about dear Kermie but for now I will merely say his selections are superior and should always be trusted. If it’s imported by Kermit, it’s sure to be a swell swig.
Some of Kermit’s red Sancerres include:
Continuer s’il vous plait.
2. The Pairing snob
White with fish, red with meat is one of the most rudimentary pairing rules people learn early on and for those who stick to this particularly binding rule, that person is likely to develop quite a pairing snob complex.
These people will most often try and trick you by getting you to flub on the stereotypichal-but-not-always-true primary pairing rule of white and red wines.
Public school sluts.
First of all, there are plenty of other way better pairing rules to go by like “If it grows together, it goes together” (i.e. suggesting pairing regional foods with regional wines).
Truth be told, pairing rules are not always what they appear
Thus, when you are put in such a predicament by a pairing snob – here are go-to wines for when someone decides they want to
wear drink white after labor day.
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Reds for traditionally white wine foods
- Pinot Noir – preferably California or Oregon but a red Burgundy could fly too as long as it’s not too funky
- Barbera d’Alba
- light-bodied Chianti – but choose wisely
Whites for traditionally red wine foods
- Gewurztraminer – one from Alsace would be preferred
- Sherry – oloroso or amontillado
- Pinot Gris
- Greco di Tufo – especially with pork
- Chardonnay – varying degrees of oakiness could work
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Although these suggestions are strictly based on the main protein you will be eating, there are more ways to circumvent this particular form of snob that we shall address at another time. (Preview suggestions: disregard the protein and focus on the sauce and/or protein preparation when it comes time to choose the wine pairing.)
3. The “This is corked” snob
True, it is said that perhaps 1 in 100 bottles of wine are corked.
You’ll know if a wine is corked aka tainted with TCA aka 2,4,6- trichloroanisole because it smells like (to varying degrees depending on the amount of contamination) wet cardboard that has been sitting in deep, dark, dank cellar for an extended period of time.
THEREFORE/HOWEVER whilst speaking in terms of snobbery, let’s say this person is totally WRONG. What drove them to this damning declaration of
Maybe their tastes just weren’t as sophisticated as they thought. Maybe their enthusiasm in ordering the most expensive wine on the menu (most likely that Grand Cru Red Burgundy bought on auction for a gazillion doll hairs) was met with a bottle whose flavor profile resembled an earth pie made by mixing 1 part fresh dirt, 2 parts pig’s blood (fresh not frozen), 1/8th horse manure, and a sprinkle of unicorn. Delicious, yet not for the inexperienced.
If this is the scenario you find yourself in, and the snob did indeed order this allegedly-corked-not-actually-corked wine, then the snob is most likely paying for it (no credit card roulette please). Thus, give a knowing eye to the Somm, acknowledging you know what they know, and move along with your meal.
Build a bridge, get over it, and let this snob suffer the tragic consequences of their actions.
After a recent experience that left me shocked and awed in the world of restaurant wine service, I’ve decided to author a straightforward list of guidelines and expectations when it comes to wining and dining outside the home. By following these standard operating procedures the next time you and your friends try and get soigné out on the town, you can easily and tactfully filter the good from the bad, the Ko from the Lavo, in a matter of seconds.
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO WINING & DINING DECORUM
#1 If the waiter specifies to the table next to you whether they would prefer the white or red Zinfandel. Leave. Immediately.
Don’t even pay the check because you may further risk contracting what is probably syphilis or Hepatitis D from these white zin drinking hill people.
#2 Also leave immediately if no vintages are listed on the wine list.
This is a sign that the establishment is buying off-vintages on the cheap or is too lazy to update their wine list. Too lazy to update their menus = too lazy to clean their kitchen = syphilis or Hepatitis D. The only time not listing vintages is de rigueur is when you are obv drinking Freixenet or some other NV (non-vintage) bubbles.
#3 Don’t be discouraged by the lack of proper stemware and accidentally mistake it as a sign of plebeian wine service.
Plenty of fabulous establishments (à la Pastis RIP) use simple Picardie glass tumblers to hold their juice – no matter what the average bottle price – as way of making everyone feel equal (LOL, good one Keith McNally) and welcome in their humble bistro.
These tumblers are a great option when casually entertaining at your (parent’s) weekend home
because they look positively chic regardless of the glass’s actual contents (totally not Fanta…) and especially are convenient when you have people drinking whites, reds, and rosés all at the same time. In the midst of a social gathering, no one wants to take the effort mid-fête to break out the fine stemware just because one guest wants to drink a red. Inevitably you will mistake the Riedel Red Burgundy glass for the Riedel New World Pinot Noir glass and have essentially committed social suicide in less than 30 seconds.
Tumblers enable you to avoid this situation entirely.
#4 Only order rosé in warm weather and always by the glass.
The only exception to this is when drinking during lunch, on the weekends, or you’re in St. Barths or Saint-Tropez. Also, no more than two people should be drinking rosé at your table unless you want to look cheap.
#5 If the wine doesn’t taste right, don’t be afraid to speak up.
Trust me: it’s not you, it’s them…most of the time. Regardless, even if you are totally wrong and look like an idiot, your service should still be hospitable and gracious.
#6 When ordering Champagne, ask for Grower Champagne.
Major labels like Veuve and Moët are way overpriced and not even that good. When ordering Champagne at a restaurant show your wine list prowess by ordering a beautiful bottle of Grower Champagne (also known as Farmer Fizz). Unlike the mass-produced méthode champenoise of the big guys, Grower Champagne is produced in much smaller quantities and is about expressing the terroir of Champagne and the passion of the winemaker. If that’s not available, go for a Crémant or Prosecco.
#7 If there isn’t a wine that looks good, order a Diet Coke.
The only exception to all of these rules is if you’re dining à la OPM (Other People’s Money). In that case, celebrate, get a little frisky dingo, and get ready for a night of pure, unadulterated, no-regrets, no-holds-barred fun!
So you have your Lambo.
You have your Mercy.
You have it all…but you still have your studio apartment with the kitchen that’s made for ants. And tough for you, your friends are people and not ants.
On top of that, you still want to be a social butterfly and spread your wings. You still want to be able to have your people friends (not ant friends) over for a drink, a meal, a good time, etc. etc.
I feel you.
am watching see you.
I am downloading your browser history.
One party dilemma you will always need to deal with when short on space (and probably a dishwasher)? Glassware.
As my great great Uncle Andy once said, “One’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party.”
For company and crowds, I recommend you bring out your finest Baccarat/Riedel/Schott Zwiesel/Señor Frogs-branded stemware and delight in the clinks of actual glass whilst you make toasts to the merriments of your friendship. But when it comes to actual parties, I embrace
landfill friendly recyclable disposable cup.
You could only provide one real glass per guest but, I mean, who wants their Chateau Merlot mixed with remnants of Freixenet mixed with remnants of Ciroc Coconut & Agua? I’ll tell you who. No one. That’s why I recommend disposable cups. No dishes, no breakage, no problems.
Many of you may have thought your disposable days were behind you after you received your diploma proclaiming you a Bachelor of the Universe (or Science, or Arts, or whatever). That life from there on out was going to be all Murano glass goblets and Swarovski crystal carafes…
But you see child, real glassware takes up a lot of space when entertaining and due to people’s propensity to abandon cups mid-drink or move from fino sherry to beer to wine to liquor to liqueur in one evening, you are pretty much guaranteed to find little abandoned glasses and orphaned little glass shards littering your precious slivers of available counter space before the clock strikes eleventy.
Don’t fret though, there are some great options now for those who plan in advance
or wash their disposable cups and reuse them every time instead of running to your bodega a la minute.
For me, I must admit there is a sleek, modernity (
or lack thereof) to the classic red Solo Cup and for that reason it is my party cup of choice.
Personally, I insist on the real thing when flying Solo. In fact, I have been known to go to three separate CVSs just to avoid buying their private label “Solo-style” cups.
Now, I’m going to say something rather bold, but I do believe that the red Solo Cup might be the little black dress of the everyday entertainer. You should always have one ready to go.
That is all.
Till latro, I bid adieu.
Je sais it has been almost a fortnight since we last spoke but I’ve had other pressing matters on my plate i.e. WORK and WERK and more TWERK. Oh le travaille….
The good news is that this brief break in scribe has granted me time to receive a plethora of fan mail directed to your’s truly and I plan to address said fan mail in today’s post.
With Fall approaching, I’m slowly breaking into my autumn garb.
My question is: Is it P.C. to wear the fur of the same animal you are eating?
The Furry Fashionista
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Thank you so much for your question. I am glad you are relying on the expertise of the Hostress to solve your fashion dilemma in a fashionably appropriate time frame. For, if you were to make the wrong decision and not consult me, you would risk being friendless and most likely banned from all realms of acceptable society by the next Harvest Moon and end up potentially looking like this:
Some people might be like this:
But they’d be lying.
Now let’s get down to the ‘meat’ of the matter and answer the question…
The answer to your feast or fashion when it comes down to it is a resounding YES.
Fall, oh Fall, how thou art fast approaching. I must say, Fall is my favorite time of year as it is one of the only times during the year when you can make the ultimate pairing: fur & food. It is quite an experience – to be wearing an animal whilst consuming its brethren.
Dearest Readers, you don’t have to sacrifice feast for fashion – you can have it all.
You see, it shows respect for the animal as you engage in what we in the culinary world like to refer to as “whole beast” dining. As the Hostress, I do declare it’s time to break out your favorite furs and fearlessly pair them with your favorite cuts.
Here are some sample scenarios:
Going for that steak for four at Peter Luger?
Channel Leatherface à la Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
For the more traditional diner, I recommend going for more of a Midnight Cowboy-inspired ensemble.
Going for mystery meat in Korea Town?
Channel Cher’s backpack in Clueless.
Carpaccio at Il Mulino?
Only one appropriate dress for that.
Veal breast at Ai Fiori?
Hopefully, you get the idea by now…
The only word to describe such conscience pairings?
Also, don’t forget to accessorize.
And finally: Don’t go overboard. Pairing feast & fashion takes a discerning eye.
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This post was written in honor of my main bish/fur queen G-Mac.