Just what is a Reverse Wine Snob anyway?
I’m overjoyed to announce that Reverse Wine Snob: How to Buy and Drink Great Wine without Breaking the Bank, published by Skyhorse Publishing, is now available for sale on Amazon in both full-color paperback and Kindle versions! To help whet your appetite for the book (which makes a great gift) and to find out just what a Reverse Wine Snob is, you can read the entire Introduction below!
UrbanDictionary.com defines a wine snob as “a wine enthusiast, particularly one who is pretentious, or self-important because of their ‘immense wine knowledge.'” We all know the type. Perhaps it’s your uncle or a friend who once vacationed in Bordeaux and has now become the overbearing know-it-all who can’t open a bottle without first giving a lecture. The bane of average wine consumers everywhere, wine snobs love to point out just how superior their $75 bottle of wine is to your $10 one.
Still, I have to admit there is a bit of good in wine snobbery — the enthusiasm. There’s certainly nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about wine, right? It’s the pretentious and self-important parts of wine snobbery that most of us can’t stand — the belittling of someone’s chosen drink and the supremely false belief that expensive is always better.
My solution to this problem is to simply turn wine snobbery upside down — to become a “Reverse Wine Snob.” I am a wine enthusiast for sure, but a wine enthusiast with an open mind and a reasonable budget!
I am simply a wine consumer. I have no special training or tasting powers. I don’t have any certifications or fancy letters after my name; in fact, I’ve never even taken a “wine appreciation” class. I’m not able to tell you the region or variety of a wine just by sniffing it. I’m just a guy who loves to drink wine and tell people about the good, cheap ones. I love saving money and not overpaying for things.
Several years ago, after constantly hearing about all the health benefits of wine, and knowing that heart disease ran in my wife Brenda’s family, we decided that we should drink wine more often. After we realized that three or four $20 bottles a week was going to quickly blow apart our budget, I went on a search for great, inexpensive wine that we could use as a “daily drinker.” Like most people we assumed you had to spend $15-$20 on a bottle to get a quality wine. After all, the cheapest bottles on restaurant wine lists were often much more than this. (We’ll talk about why that is later.) We didn’t expect to find much, and thought our adventure with wine was going to be a short one, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that there is a ton of really good, inexpensive wine out there. Once we made that discovery we knew we had to tell others, and my website ReverseWineSnob.com was born.
Thanks to the success of my website I have wine sent to me from all over the world. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to well-known wine regions like California and France as well as lesser-known wine regions like Virginia and Slovenia. This has given me the opportunity to try almost two hundred different grape varieties in just the last few years, from every possible price range! I’ve tasted tons of wine, much of it bad but some of it good.
My objective in writing this book is simple — to get more people to enjoy the world of wine. I figure if people are like me (a truly frightening thought indeed!) there are a good number of
you who would drink more wine if you just knew that you didn’t have to spend a small fortune to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner every night.
This is not a book that sets out to explain every wine term or to give a comprehensive review of all wine regions. This is a book designed to set you free from the notion that you have to be an expert to drink wine and that you have to spend big bucks for a good bottle. I am a staunch believer in learning through drinking (what could be more fun!), so much of the information shared in this book is through my wine reviews. I encourage you to try out some of these recommended bottles and learn right alongside us.
The book starts with my unique rating system that builds price into the equation — the more expensive the bottle, the better it has to be to garner a “Recommended Buy” rating! This would seem like common sense, but it’s bordering on radical in the world of wine. The book then hones in on my “Ten Tenets of Reverse Wine Snobbery,” beliefs I hold dear that likely fly in the face of much of what you will read in other wine books.
From there we’ll take a quick look at some basic wine terms and then dive into region by region highlights of the very best wines under $20. Since getting the best deal on a bottle is critical to our mission, we’ll then turn to buying wine. We’ll examine where to find the wine we recommend and how to buy wine online, and then take a deeper dive into wines exclusive to two of the biggest retailers out there — Costco and Trader Joe’s. (Plus some hints on how to use their unique pricing models to your advantage.) We’ll then wrap up our exploration with a look at the wine snobs number one target of derision: box wine.
Still wondering if this is the right book for you? This book is not directed at the established wine aficionado. This is a book for the average Joe who just wants to know that the $10 or so he plunks down for a bottle of wine is going to be well spent. And on the rare occasion that he spends $20 on a bottle, it’s going to be much better than the $10 one. Far too often it’s not and we’re here to help fix that.
Introduction to Reverse Wine Snob: How to Buy and Drink Great Wine without Breaking the Bank. Available for sale at all major booksellers including Amazon.
Looking for more info? Check out the excellent review just posted yesterday by Sandra Silfven over at The Detroit News.