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David Kamp: wine snobs

Posted by hitnerwine on December 26, 2011 at 1:50 PM

An unusual wine website I just visited, called snobsite.com, and created by David Kamp, a writer from Vanity Fair. Hard to, at least initially, make out the point that Kamp seems so compelled to impart, that people who take wine seriously are all snobs.

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Is such an assertion correct, or is it yet another example of unnecessary posturing by someone with too large an ego for their own good, a kindred spirit to myself, even? Personally, I’ll give my nod to the latter, having read the contents of Kamp’s site thoroughly. Looking through his archives (last updated February 2009), it would appear that Kamp harbours a witticism-laced dislike for knowledgeable persons who, in this case concerning wine, present their knowledge in an educated manner. More specifically, he dislikes any and all sort(s) of pretension, the undesirable behaviour of persons who, in possession of much knowledge, present their knowledge in pompous, bombastic manners.

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On the other hand, confining our brief discussion to wine, I would submit to Kamp that there are many ways to express one’s knowledge, or appreciation, about wine, or fine food, or art, or literature, or architecture, or supermarket magazines that do not necessitate the act of snobbery. Of course, nobody enjoys individuals acting snobbish; but simply being knowledgeable about wine and speaking about it while using such terms as described by Kamp is not, I would argue, behaving snobbish. It is the simple exercise of knowledge, nothing more, nothing less.

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However, if you, Kamp, prefer enjoying wine in the company of persons who have taken a vow of silence, by all means. Or perhaps that is an exaggeration. Perhaps all you would like are persons that just love drinking wine for wine’s sake, persons that don’t want to talk about wine’s attributes. Sounds a little boring, but don’t let me stop you.

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In any event, I strongly urge you to revisit your opinion of people who are knowledgeable about wine. Who knows? Perhaps you might even learn something, though judging by your having written an entire book on the subject, such an outcome is perhaps highly unlikely.

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