The wine world reminds me of high school sometimes. The cast of characters and social structure is really not all that different. Just consider:
The Know-It-Alls: They were the first to raise their hands in class. Their knowledge of wine is impressive but they see it as a competitive sport, so it's not always fun to be around them, unless you're also a Know-It-All.
The Chest Thumpers: Here we find the braggers and the jocks. Everything about wine to them is bigger than life. "Ooo! Ooo! Look what I'm drinking!" They often complain they're on too many mailing lists, and of course their wine cellars are amply stocked with magnums and imperials.
The Blue Bloods: The old money. The trust-fund babies. Wine has been a part of their life since birth and they make it seem so effortless and perfect. It's OK to envy them, particularly their cellars of first-growth Bordeaux from their birth years: 1961, 1982 or 1989, of course, and fully stocked by Daddy.
The Glitterati: The prom queens and kings. It's all about the show. They know just enough about wine to order what's fashionable and have recently switched from Cristal back to Dom Pérignon.
The Eccentrics: A subset of the geeks and freaks. Popularity makes them nauseous. Normal is passé and mind-numbing. They haven't eaten a Big Mac since eighth grade. They try so hard not to be a cliché that they have become their own cliché. They're suspicious of any wine that actually tastes good. They love natural wines and orange wines. They're biking through Jura this spring.
The Party People: The stoners and keg-standers back in school. They may have transitioned to wine in adulthood but secretly it's still mostly about the buzz.
The Serious Students: Many wine drinkers will see themselves in this group. They're passionate about wine but it doesn't consume them. They're savvy enough to know that they share some of the characteristics of the Eccentrics, the Chest Thumpers or any other group, but they're grounded enough to know not to cross the line ... too often, anyway.
The Masses: All the rest of those wonderful wine consumers who just sip and enjoy and never talk about wine when they're drinking it.
OK, so that was a fun little exercise, of course, but where do you fall? Are you honest enough to admit the truth? You might see yourself in more than one group. I certainly am. What group did I leave out?
Mark Lyon — Sonoma, California — January 9, 2013 12:27pm ET
Daniel Sherer — Windsor, CA, USA — January 9, 2013 1:21pm ET
Dustin Gillson — Dayton, OH — January 9, 2013 2:06pm ET
David N Burke — Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada — January 9, 2013 2:26pm ET
Erik Miller — Santa Rosa — January 9, 2013 3:08pm ET
David Rossi — Napa, CA — January 9, 2013 4:07pm ET
Tim Fish — Sonoma County — January 9, 2013 4:08pm ET
Mia Malm — Napa, CA — January 9, 2013 6:01pm ET
David W Voss — Wisconsin — January 9, 2013 6:36pm ET
Shauna Rosenblum — Alameda, CA — January 10, 2013 2:46pm ET
Craig Cawlfield — California — January 11, 2013 7:54pm ET
Michael Janow — Winchester, VA, USA — January 14, 2013 3:08pm ET
Tim Fish — Sonoma County — January 14, 2013 3:33pm ET
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