Snobbery

Posted on 06.24.11 8:52PM under Uncategorized

My RSS includes XKCD, a computer geek comic. This week there was one about wine snobbery. The main character was asked how he could drink “this crappy wine”, to which he responded “all wine tastes the same to me”.

That, I can relate to.

I consider myself lucky in that I cannot tell the difference between BMC of wine and DFH of wine. It saves me money and inner turmoil in case I am at an event where only cheap wine is available.

The funny thing was that in the comic he went on to say that you could make snobbery anywhere.

So I got to wondering if beer snobbery is warranted. Is there such a difference between meh craft beer and awesome craft beer that it would be discernable to a rookie?

Unfortunately I think not. I might taste a beer and hate on the diacetyl but Joe 6 pack would probably not notice the same thing and if he did it would not necessarily strike him as an issue.

But clearly with some things there is a big gap between normal and very good. I think of American cheese. Kraft singles – not so good. Deli – very good. Anyone who’s had both can tell.

So I don’t lose hope for the distinction between good and very good beer. But maybe we can avoid the snobbery while we’re at it.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by BobbyO on 07.10.11 4:42 PM

    The whole problem with the concept of snobbery — of any kind — is the notion that there are some objective, absolute references for quality in the subject matter, which snobs obsess over and which neophytes can’t discern. I have a pretty well developed palate for wine — I certainly can tell the difference between Ripple and Chateau Mouton Rothschild — but I still think the “experts” who speak of flavors of currants, leather, smoke, and rocks are monumentally full of shit. I’ve had my share of beers through the decades, too, but still have no idea of what you mean when you talk about beer tasting like diacetyl, or pterodactyl, or whatever the hell that supposed buttery chemical is. I will spend $100 on an 18 year-old single-barrel bottle of bourbon but I only tolerate scotch; my wife thinks that both of them smell and taste like rubbing alcohol. Perception is simply way too subjective, but that never seemed to stop the legions of posers out there from their pompous condescensions. Snobbery is like religion: a focused evolution of tribalism, and yet another way to say “our group is better than your group.” De gustibus non est disputandum.