Tagged: Rules

The Definitive Guide to Fauxing Wine Snobbery

After the Pulitzer Prize-winning success of my prior Definitive Guide, I’ve authored a new list for dealing with a much-lamented type of person: the wine snob. When dealing with a wine snob, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Level 2 Somm or on your 3rd fake i.d., the formula for putting said snob in their place is always the same: 3 parts wit to 1 part bitchiness with a dash of B.S. and garnish of actual facts.

The Definitive Guide to Fauxing Wine Snobbery

aka how to out-snob the snob

fuck yo grapes

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.

I choose you, red Sancerre!

I choose you, Sancerre Rouge

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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.


Wrong Kermit.

No, not that Kermit, my friend. I’m talking about the one, the only, Kermit Lynch.

Kermit Lynch, the right choice those who can't make a choice.

Kermit Lynch, the right choice for those who can’t make a choice.

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:

Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy


Daniel Chotard


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.

Add people who follow traditional wine rules to that list, Ja'mie.

Add: People who follow traditional wine rules to that list

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
  • Beaujolais
  • Barbera d’Alba
  • Rioja
  • light-bodied Chianti – but choose wisely

Whites for traditionally red wine foods

  • Riesling
  • Gewurztraminer – one from Alsace would be preferred
  • Sherry – oloroso or amontillado
  • Viognier
  • Pinot Gris
  • Greco di Tufo – especially with pork
  • Chardonnay – varying degrees of oakiness could work

**      **      **      **      **      **

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.

got vom

Even this most experienced wine drinker wants to be like

THEREFORE/HOWEVER whilst speaking in terms of snobbery, let’s say this person is totally WRONG. What drove them to this damning declaration of cockiness corkiness?

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.

And you can't taste the difference between corked and properly aged wines.

And you can’t taste the difference between corked and properly cellared wines.

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.


The Definitive Guide to Wining & Dining Decorum

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.



#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.


Drinks White Zin.

#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.


Picardie glasses. Timeless and functional – a rare combination.

Quick Tip

These tumblers are a great option when casually entertaining  at your (parent’s) weekend home

A simple summer soirée calls for tumblers.

A simple summer soirée calls for tumblers.

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.

Should've gotten the tumblers...

Should’ve gotten the tumblers…

 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.


Also an appropriate occasion for rosé

#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.

Wrong (or not). Regardless, RUDENESS is unacceptable.

Wrong (or not). Regardless, RUDE.

#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.

Way to order that Grower Champagne!

Way to order that Grower Champagne!

#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!

Celebrate. It's a OPM night.

Celebrate, it’s an OPM night.

When it comes to parties, glass is a four-letter word

So you have your Lambo.


You have your Mercy.


Totally me.

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.

I hear you.


I 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.”

Uncle Andy loved a good pizza party

Uncle Andy loved a good pizza 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.


Monogrammed! The preferred choice of pearl-wearers everywhere.


Foam is a personal favorite. Also great for coffee.


I wouldn’t recommend talking to whoever writes “What’s your sign” on their cup. Sounds like a forceable toucher if you ask me.


They don’t match… they go together.


Hipster cups.

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.

An American Classic

An American Classic

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.