It seems that a few people are finding their way to this site by putting words such as “food/wine snob” in their search engine, often with the addition of the words annoying or pretentious.
So it appears that many of us are finding foodies and wine buffs irritating and boring. In view of this, I thought I would share my thoughts of how to understand and deal with such snobs.
In my experience, pretentious people, especially food and wines snobs, are normally out to impress. The sad thing is, the very people they are trying to impress are unlikely to be awestruck unless they are equally pretentious or shallow. Snobs quite often have self-esteem issues which result in them either trying to propel themselves to the level of those who are actually above them or to demean others in an attempt to bring them down to their real low level. They will think they are “sharing” but really they are bragging.
So how do you deal with a food/wine snob?
1. Try ignoring them. If you are at a party and a fellow guest starts banging on about their latest fine dining experience, then make some excuses to go and talk to someone a lot more interesting. Or if you are feeling impolite, just walk off. Preferably while they are in mid-sentence. Yes, they will think you are extremely rude, but hey, they are boring the pants off you and life is too short for that. You really won’t miss being their Facebook friend and them posting copious pictures of their dinner or bragging about the bottle of Chateau Tolbot ’45 they had drunk.
2. Ask questions. A friend of mine was bragging about a £500 bottle of wine he had recently consumed at a top restaurant in London. So I asked what it was about that particular wine that made it £500 a bottle and they were almost lost for words. This is always the odd thing for me. If I find something really amazing, then I tend to buy loads to share with my friends. Rarely do you get a wine snob willing to share a £500 bottle with loads of mates. Just saying.
3. Make sure you introduce them to the green, planet saving, hippy type at the earliest opportunity. They will no doubt give them a hard time, berating the snob for spending so much on wine and food when there are starving people in other parts of the world. You never know, the guilt trip switch may even be flicked into the on position and the wine/food snob might be converted to normality and save others from being bored (yeah – unlikely, but we can live in hope).
4. Finally never try to compete with a snob. If you are being really bored turn the conversation into a joke (at their expense). Make up a few dodgy restaurant names like “Cramouille de Poisson” (Crotch of fish) for them to visit. This works particularly well if you can involve another of your normal friends. However, sometimes the snob is so far up their own arse, they will just think you are being childish without understanding why.
Interestingly enough, real experts rarely bang on about their skill. Meet a wine buyer or a professional chef and even if they are passionate about their vocation, they will not want to be talking about it for too long in a social situation.