Tag Archives: wine snob

Dear Wine Snob

This is an open letter to all wine snobs on the release of le Beaujolais Nouveau this week.

Dear Wine Snob,

I have the greatest admiration for you as a snob, and specifically as a wine snob. And so I know you will laugh at me when I declare that I am excited about the Beaujolais Nouveau release

I know why most “wine people” don’t really get into the Nouveau spirit of things.
• Beaujolais Nouveau is a very simple wine
• In fact it was only harvested 2 months ago
• It hasn’t been aged
• It hasn’t been blended with any other varietal – straight gamay
• In fact not much has been done to it at all except that the French have marketed the heck out of it – and they have done so brilliantly.
• Most of you refer to it as “wine Cool-Aid”.

Yes, I know it’s not a serious wine but I don’t care. I like it. It inspired me to start this wine blog in 2009.


In fact I would go so far as to declare myself a Nouveau snob. I’m unreasonably hesitant to try a Novello from Italy (although they are always delicious) and I don’t get as giddy about a syrah Primeur as I do with a true Nouveau made with gamay grapes.

Fresh, juicy, “new” French wine is just the thing to start the holidays for me.

So to all you wine snobs that think that the words “Beaujolais Nouveau” translate as “I can’t believe I paid $12 for that” – this is what I have to say to you…

I like my carbonic maceration.
I like my red wine chilled.
I like the hype – bring it on Georges Dubœuf with your clever little œ in the middle of your name.
I like Gamay.
I like drinking wine that you don’t swirl and sniff.
I like Chateau des Charmes in Niagara producing Seven Generation Gamay Nouveau, because Canadians demand a little locavore in our drinking.

So while you wine snobs will be “pooh-poohing” me on November 15th, I will be proudly buying a 6-pack of Nouveau and loving it.

Travis Oke
Self proclaimed Beaujolais Nouveau snob.

Harvest Time

Autumn is a food lover’s paradise with everything is being harvested directly to my plate.  I couldn’t be happier.  Grapes too are being harvested and will turn into wine soon enough.  That’s not soon enough!  What’s a guy to do to fill in the gaps?

Muskoka Brewery is doing their best to reach out to impatient wine drinkers with the release of their Harvest Ale today in LCBO stores.  This is not an ale for the light palate. It’s not quite as hoppy as their Mad Tom but it is full of spruce and pine aromas.  My wife’s first response to tasting it – “That’s delicious”.  A strong endorsement indeed. Our next bottle is being paired with a blue cheese.

Harvest Ale is bottled in a 750 mL swing top bottle to encourage sharing.  Anybody else a little bored bringing flowers or wine to a dinner party?  I think this is a great alternative. As my brother-in-law said, “This is a great gift to bring to a BBQ – to straighten out those wine snobs”.  I hope he meant me.

Check out the food pairing ideas at the Muskoka Brewery website.

Holiday Magic

The first Vintages Holiday catalogue arrived in the mail yesterday!  It actually sat in the mail pile for over 2 hours before my wife casually mentioned that “the LCBO Christmas catalogue arrived today“.   I squealed with delight, grabbed a Sharpie and tucked in.

In between the Don Pérignon gift set ($230), the magnum of Rioja (LAN reserva $40) and the enormous Chianti (Da Vinci 5000 mL) I found my favorite page.

“Save the Date! Beaujolais Nouveau arrives on Vintages shelves November 17”  – Beaujolais Nouveau!  I love Nouveau.  It marks the beginning of Christmas celebrations in our house.  Fresh, fruity, effervescent – it’s a  wine for the masses.

Now I work at being a wine snob as much as the next guy but I can’t help but be happy about this simple wine inexpensive wine.  It’s just fun for me – and hey, if wine isn’t fun then you shouldn’t be drinking it.

Also, after drinking Nouveau for a month that magnum of LAN and the 5000 mL Chianti are going to taste really good.

Educate Our Youth

I learned two things today.  First thing –  if you live near a University don’t go to the wine store on a Thursday night.  Thing two –  if you are in a wine store don’t listen to college kids recommending wine to their friends.  They are not the discerning demographic group.  I should have known that from the kid purchasing a bottle of vodka and a 6 pack of Miller Light cans – but that’s not even what tipped me off.  It was a conversation that I overheard in the aisle next to me.

“Girls’ Night Out is a great Rosé” was the comment that almost made me drop my imported British beer.  I really think we need to change our entire Education system. Girls’ Night Out is NOT a great rosé – neither is the Girls’ Night Out Sangria in a 1.5 mL bottle. Girls’ Night Out may be tasty, it may be a great value, it may even be cute – but we do need to educate our youth in the ways of wine.  Muga and Gran Fuedo are great Rosé wines – as is practically anything from Provence –  but a wine with a pink sundress on the label is not an indication of a great wine. Sorry girls – but I hope you did have a nice girls’ night out .

Of Course I’m a Wine Snob

First of all, everybody is a snob.   In fact my whole family is a bunch of snobs. My wife is a bathroom snob.  She is also turning into a cheese snob. This is the girl that in college kept a can of spray cheese under her car seat. When we told our daughters this they exclaimed, “You can get cheese in a spray can?”  They are not cheese snobs.  They are stuffed animal snobs – all Webkinz, all the time.

Secondly, a snob is not a jerk. A snob is simply somebody who will not accept sub-standard.  In fact they are intentional about their standards.  Couldn’t we use more of that in our world?  People who put forth that kind of effort are worth more of  my time.

Personal wine standards have to start and stop somewhere. I, for one, won’t drink a wine that includes a pun in its name (see A Wine by any other name) or that comes in an aluminium haggis.

Some people just happen to be wine snobs and I’m not sure why people don’t appreciate that more.

I know a wine snob.  In fact one of the things that I love about her is that she is a wine snob.  She is the only person who attends my Beaujolais party and doesn’t like ANY of the wines.  This year I gave her Mill Street beer.  It’s a level of snobbery a little higher than I am comfortable embracing, but I can appreciate the effort. I’m going to thank her for it tomorrow.