Wine- The Snobbiest of Subcultures?

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This is the beginning of a long paper I wrote for my nonfiction writing class.  I think it is funny-but afterall, I wrote it…

Enology- The Snobbiest of Subcultures? by Andrea Heap

We have all been there.  We want to order a bottle of wine at a restaurant, but the wine list is practically unreadable to a novice.  Words like Petite Syrah, Gewurstraminer, and Viognier are scary for someone who simply wants a drink.  This is the high society part of the menu.  I wonder if restaurants put a “House Red and White” on the wine list simply for people who don’t know the first thing about wine.  Once you finally decide upon the bottle, that is when the real panic creeps in.

The server comes to your table holding the bottle of wine like a newborn child.  The label strategically facing your table, as if each server has been trained by Vanna White.  They somehow manage to uncork the bottle while having the label in view the entire time. Pop! I usually jump slightly at this point from my nerves.  Here is the moment when you are given the cork to inspect, but God forbid do not smell it.[1]  After cork extraction, the server pours a thimble amount of your selected wine into your stemmed glass.  Then a stare down ensues while you are supposed to either taste the wine or ask for forgiveness of your sins.  You just give a nod of approval so they leave you alone and you celebrate getting through another grueling process of ordering fermented grape juice by raising your glass in a toast.

[1] A wine professor of mine made this rule very clear on the first day of class. “Don’t ever smell the cork in public! EVER!  Only if you are home behind closed doors may you do this, otherwise you look like an amateur.” Although, every time he would open a bottle in class he would smell the cork and the class would laugh accordingly.


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