Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

The 10 signs you might be turning into a wine bore September 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

Published by 8 Comments


I’m all for people mustering some enthusiasm for wine. It is possible however to muster a little too much, as you’ll know if you’ve ever come across a wine bore. I suppose every topic has its share of nerds, and at least with wine, the subject of their passion does taste nice. But that doesn’t make them any the less dull.

They’re usually easy to spot at parties. While everyone else is intent on having a good time, their brows are furrowed. Rather than just drink whatever wine is available, they’re scanning the labels of bottles, checking what percentage of Shiraz or Cabernet each wine contains, and whether the winemaker thinks it is appropriate for the food on offer (although I’ve never seen a label that suggests a wine is good with Pringles and Pretzels). And they ignore the stack of plastic cups, and furtively head for the kitchen to see if they can track down a more suitable vessel for their chosen tipple.

If you find yourself cornered by a wine bore, whatever you do, don’t utter the words, ‘Well they all taste the same to me.’ Not unless you want three hours of one-way traffic about canopy management, micro-oxygenation and the difference between a grosslage and an einzellage. You long to say to these people, ‘Get out more, drink some beer!’ But the truth is it can happen to the best of us…

The ten signs that show you might be turning into a wine bore

1) You make notes on the wines when you’re out for dinner
2) You keep back copies of wine magazines
3) You have a collection of bottle labels (which makes you a vintitulist by the way)
4) You have more than one tie with a wine motif
5) You can recite the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux châteaux
6) You can name all thirteen grapes in Châteauneuf du Pape
7) You insist on correcting people who mispronounce Riesling – (it’s Reece-ling, by the way)
8) You look down your nose at people who only drink Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
9) You can’t remember your last holiday that wasn’t in a wine region
10) You have more corkscrews than pairs of shoes

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  • spiltwine says:


  • Colin Smith says:

    whew – I score 1 out of 10.

    But what about adding to the list “you find yourself reminding people who say they hate chardonnay but love chablis that they are made from the same grape”?

    in which case 2 out of 10 for me…………..

  • Simon says:

    Louis, Colin, we probably all fail the shoe thing – it’s when women fail that that they really need therapy

  • Jesse says:

    Oh my. I’ve got 3/10. Ben has 4/10.

    We’d like to add Riedel to #7.

    Also, we have lots of wine drinking paraphernalia outside of corkscrews now: decanters, aerators, multiple glass types, pourers, charms, savers, etc. etc. So far, the shoes still win, but the race is getting close. Eek!

  • Andrew says:

    Luckily for me only two apply but only because I just broke a corkscrew on one of them pesky plastic corks!

  • Simon says:

    Andy, am seriousloy considering buying one of Tesco’s £2.93 lever action jobbies purely for plastic corks. What would be worse is a plastic cork under a wax seal…

  • #9 is exactly right!

    Not only can we not remember… why would anyone want to travel anywhere where vineyards wouldn’t thrive (ie deserted island).

    Thanks Simon!

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