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. (See our Ten Tenets of Reverse Wine Snobbery for more on that.) 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 Reverse Wine Snob 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, Spain, Italy and France as well as lesser-known wine regions like Virginia, Argentina and Slovenia. This has given me the opportunity to try well over 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 starting this site and writing my 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.
Our aim is not to explain every detail of every wine term or to give a comprehensive review of all wine regions. Our goal is 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 we share is through our wine reviews. I encourage you to try out some of these recommended bottles and learn right alongside us. (You can learn here about some of basic wine terms we use.)
If you’re new to Reverse Wine Snob, good places to start include 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. After that check out our Ten Tenets of Reverse Wine Snobbery, beliefs we hold dear that likely fly in the face of much of what you will read in other wine books. From there you won’t want to miss our Best Of Lists covering all the major varieties and regions plus the best wines and tips for shopping popular retailers like Trader Joe’s and Costco.
Still wondering if Reverse Wine Snob is right for you? This site is not directed at the established wine aficionado. This is a site 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.
Our book Reverse Wine Snob: How to Buy and Drink Great Wine without Breaking the Bank is available for sale at all major booksellers including Amazon.