Bizarre, right? I know people love a good Twitter fight, it's like watching an ugly person sing bad karaoke in spangles on Youtube, so let's get right to it.
First, the prologue. I tweeted this on Tuesday:
Just after noon on Saturday, Levine finally got to the item marked "Insult Winesnob Blake Gray" on his to-do list.
I realize I'm losing much of my claim to adulthood by posting this here, but the more I thought about this conversation, the more noteworthy it seemed.
First of all, the source. Levine, as stated, makes his living through a site where people say this wine's a 92, and that one's an 86.*
But look at the way he wields the term "wine snob." Just in case I didn't understand the hashtag, he made it a complete, definitive sentence: "I am actually calling you a wine snob." I could practically feel his leather glove whistling through the air toward my cheek.
And then, as I sink to the ground, tearfully humiliated, he says, "It's amusing that (grammatical correction) is all you can latch onto ..." Oy vey, I can no longer drink in polite company. Children mock me from their windows, dumping their privies in my path as I shuffle through the streets in chains.
I already wrote an entire column for Palate Press on reclaiming the term "wine snob," it's the one I linked to in the last tweet (sorry, the link in the image won't work.) So I don't need to go back over the same territory.
But in this case, the insult goes beyond wine. Go back and look at my tweet that inspired this slapping match. I don't even name the wine. I found the review amusing enough to share with my Twitter followers, but I didn't say anything about any wines, good or bad. Levine uses "wine snob" like people use "Nazi" or "hipster" -- pejoratives that don't need to be literally true -- and he apparently expects it to have the same devastating social impact as "racist" or "child abuser."
I guess this explains how Levine feels confident publicly using an insult that, by a layman's definition, would include his entire customer base (see some definitions here). It makes me sad, the thought of a community of enthusiastic wine lovers -- people who catalog their collections and discuss whether the latest vintage of a certain Gevrey-Chambertin is up to snuff -- trembling at being outed as a "wine snob." It must be like being gay in the 1950s. "No, I'm not a wine snob. I just ... have a lot of wine."
Well, I'm stepping out of the wine closet. I like wine and I think some wines are better than others and I am not ashamed. You're right, Eric, I am a wine snob. And maybe you ought to rethink using that term as an insult.