On Wine. A tragedy.
Ryan Opaz

I grew up seeing wine as a humble accompaniment to dinner, and lived in Montreal where there are equal parts folkish and snobbish attitudes towards it.

Far more vins de dépanneur — low quality corner store wines — are sold than better quality wines, but enjoying wine with meals is such an institution that a Québécois restaurant chain successfully lobbied for their delivery cars to be able to deliver wine with their casual dining options such as sandwiches.

That’s what wine enjoyment looks like, I think: a population that agrees that almost any meal goes better with a glass of the stuff. Even if neither the wine nor its beverage are culinary masterpieces.

The hardest thing is to become a connoisseur but not a snob; to learn more and also love more.

Often it’s a happier life being an amateur than a snob. Amateur means “lover” and that’s where the fun is, when there’s a lot more to love in the world than critique. Knowing more is only great because you have to also increase your exposure to the best stuff and decrease how much of the average and worse you encounter, a tricky proposition with wine where middling is more common than great, taste is terribly personal, and you’re still likely to have friends something that only your connaissances make harder to appreciate.

Wine belongs to the people and if marketing can give it back, that’s a good thing.