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To protect the Innocent

February 22, 2007
Or not so innocent as the case shall be, I will not be naming names or wines in this post. Merely, a few thoughts on when I realized that I have become, for all intents and purposes, a full fledged wine snob. Well, perhaps not a snob, because I wouldn't laud knowledge or wine above anyone else. And I would never actually tell someone that what I was thinking in my head while watching them guzzle a crappy wine as they extolled its virtues was: OMG PUT THAT DOWN IT'S DISTGUSTING. But a snob nonetheless. And I realize that at one point in my life, when I was a broke college student and didn't know that better wine was out there nor could I afford it or get my hands on it, I drank these wines. They were there. They were cheap. It was college, we weren't really on the hunt for that great bottle of wine so much as a hunt for a state of cheap inebriation to deal with the freezing cold winters of New Hampshire.

I have absolutely nothing against inexpensive wines. In fact, I routinely am on a hunt for really good inexpensive wines and avidly read Good Wine Under $20 and Quaffability in search of more worthwhile inexpensive regions, varietels and bottles to try. However, I cannot drink cheap wine. It's just plain awful. I am differentiating cheap from inexpensive here folks. Cheap to me is the wine made in vats bigger than my house, filled with chips of oak or other flavor "enhancers" the comes out of the bottle with what can only be described as the smell of chemical waste.

Thus, it entered my mind as I had to develop a blank stare and nod my head when a friend started talking about how the zinfandel from this giant bottle of wine on the counter was the best wine that I am a wine snob. Plain and simple. That's not good zinfandel. I'll show you good zinfandel. I have a bedroom closet full of it. I just can't bring myself to go back to drinking that stuff. It had a time and a place in my life, but that time and place is over and has been for a while (pretty much the day I turned 21).


  1. Andrew said...

    I understand completely how you feel. As you have mentioned in your earlier article, 'Back on Track', how bad dial-up is in comparison with broadband service. It is the same thing with wine. In my mind, there is plonk and there is wine. We love wine, but once in a while, tasting a plonk actually does remind us of how far we have come along in the appreciation of good wine.

    2/23/07, 1:02 AM  

  2. el jefe said...

    You know, I think there are stages involved here. There was a time I felt as you did, and I raged inside when I saw other people drinking THAT STUFF.

    You can take it farther. My kids eat Taco Bell. I can't touch McD. On the other hand, I like oysters...

    At some point you just realize it's OK for them to like it. It makes them happy, and that's good. I like oysters, and I don't expect you to, but it's cool if you do (unless there's only one left...:)

    2/23/07, 2:50 AM  

  3. Sonadora said...

    Andrew, thanks for visiting and your comment. I like the comparision. And I did drink some of the "plonk" because, well, there was nothing else, but I so desperately wanted to bust out an actually good zinfandel to show them what they were missing!

    El Jefe-I see your point and I second the opinion of McD...haven't eaten there since I was 6 and it made me more ill than I think I've been since. And it's not so much a rage, as a, well, I wish I could introduce you to something that is actually a good wine so you wouldn't labor under the impression that that is good! Though I suppose it leaves more good wine for the rest of it if others drink that stuff. And I might give you a run on your money for that oyster ;)

    2/23/07, 5:09 PM  

  4. Linds said...

    you have so eaten at McDonalds. I seem to remember McFlurry cravings on York Rd...

    2/23/07, 6:42 PM  

  5. Barrld said...

    The unavoidable reality is that at some (many?) group gatherings sponsored by others plonk is all there is to drink. I went to a reception the other day in the lobby of the small hotel where we were staying and it served Berringer California White Wine, NV, and its companion, California Red Wine, NV, both in magnum. I couldn't bring myself to drink the red but did imbide in the white, and lived to tell about it; slight but not offensive and no chemical smells. My wife hated it, but the rest of the folks were pounding bottle after bottle. Can't fight the tide I guess.

    2/23/07, 7:28 PM  

  6. Joe said...

    Hi Sonadora. It is not really snobbery - once you have a passion and interest in something, you become more discriminating. When you were a kid, moving pictures and bologna were fine, but now you may like Pad Thai and a cult film. Because you automatically grab a glass and start dissecting it, it is hard to drink a poor wine! When in doubt, I am with barrld and I go for the white - if it is served frozen it will be refreshing, hard to be disappointed with cold liquid! It is only snobbery when you look down on the situation and insult those enjoying the wine - I am sure you never go there. Cheers!

    2/23/07, 8:02 PM  

  7. Sonadora said...

    Correct me if I'm wrong Linds, but I think we went three times to try to get them and ended up with ice cream from CVS everytime...they were out twice, and the one time we did manage to get one, the soy milk had gone sour and we couldn't actually eat it!

    Barrld and Joe-I am with you! I always take the white at weddings and such events as I feel it has got to better than the red!

    2/24/07, 8:15 PM  

  8. Farley said...

    I also have the desire to open people up to new possibilities, say, other than white zinfandel. It's not that they don't have the right to drink what they want. They just may not know what else is out there yet.

    Here's to hoping you feel better so you can drink more of the good stuff.

    2/28/07, 11:43 AM  

  9. Sonadora said...

    That's what I think Farley...people just don't know that for the same price (or maybe just a teensy bit more) they can get a really good wine instead!

    Thanks, I'm feeling much better today, and hopefully I can have my first wine in over a week tomorrow!

    2/28/07, 10:57 PM  

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