Finally, I am a wine snob.
Craft beer has become, to me, a pissing match of how much hops can I cram into this ale or what ridiculous things can I use to taint my beer. So, I have been drinking more wine.
I have generally been thinking I wasn't a wine snob. I like the cheap and basic french table wines over the heavy napa stuff. Several of my "go to" bottles have screw caps. I even have enjoyed chardonnay. Actually until last night I didn't understand the backlash over chardonnay.
Then I tried chardonnay from oak. OK, I get it. Watershed moment. What crap.
Not sure what one would respond to your missive. But I will say that, apart from the poor brewing judgments you mentioned, it's so much cheaper and easier to find a fantastic, complex craft beer these days than a fantastic, complex wine. It's what I envy about the contemporary beer scene.
Alas, I really don't like beer that much. Once in a while. For me, wine is it, so I just keep trying to learn, and keep wishing the great stuff was within my budget.
"how much hops can I cram into this ale or what ridiculous things can I use to taint my beer"...
Reminds me of
"how much ABV can I cram into this juice, how much overextraction can I push"...
The good news:
"The once popular etymology of snob as a contraction of the Latin phrase sine nobilitate ("without nobility") is now discredited."
It is a 12-step program. First, you have to admit that you ARE a wine snob! Then, having actually tasted Chardonnay is the next step. After that, admitting that you actually enjoyed a Cal-Cab will put you to the next level. Next thing you know, you'll even try a Zinfandel, and admit that you enjoyed it. Same for a big Central Coast PN. After that, things go pretty quickly.
At some point, many of us find that we enjoy different wines, regardless of any ABC movement, and we are then free to enjoy, regardless of the origin, or the exact mechanics of production.
Only then can we declare to the world that we ARE wine snobs. It's about what we, as individuals, enjoy, and the press, or the popular conceptions be damned. We know what we like, and relish those wines, however passe, or popular, they might be.
First off in regard to beer there are still many many beers available that aren't hop monsters. Why you would avoid all beer because of a trend within craft beer is odd to me. Second I wouldn't celebrate being a snob of any kind. Snobs waste energy trying to impress people rather than enjoying the product.
Ditto to all of that.
The OP shouldn't avoid craft beer, if it's really due to the reason stated- he (or she) should avoid online discussions about craft beer instead. The entirety of the community is far from being defined by these 'outliers' that tend to be talked up incessantly. It's remarkably easy to avoid them and still be quite satisfied. I'm sure that goes for the wine community, too.
And ditto to all that as well.
I can relate to the OP's feelings about the craft beer scene right now. A lot of huffing, puffing and chest-bearing. Many are openly hostile to beers that don't fit their narrow definition of good beer. I love all beers that I feel have great qualities about them. I prefer craft brews and Belgian-style brews, but I will by all means drink commercial brews without a second thought as well. And contrary to craft beer snoots, I think Japanese beers - regardless of their use of rice - are great beers to have with food as well as being perfect for a hot summer day. I don't like to be told what is good or bad by 1/100 of one percent of the market. The market is so broad and deep for that.
The same goes for wine. I love the passion that so many on this board have for wine. I love engaging and being engaged in conversations when I'm shopping for wine. I'm amazed at how much one person can know about one part of one region of one country, let alone the wine industry as a whole. After such amazing mini-tutorials, I always jokingly say to myself that if we as a society of wine drinkers were to put that much effort and brain power into solving the world's problems, all sorrow and pain would end in a week and this would be the toast of ages.
What I don't like is when I feel I'm being clubbed over the head with wine snobbery. It's a lot of negative energy. It's usually passive-aggressive or a frontal assault in form, and it leaves me wanting to 86 the scene. I don't know - maybe it's a conspiracy by all greedy wine wonks in an attempt to reduce demand for good wines by the general masses in order to keep wine prices low. If that's the case, all wine geeks better learn Mandarin. :) Keep it friendly, informative and fun, and let your own palate guide you. It's that journey that enriches us. Each new wine experience is like discovering a new land, a new town, a new favorite place. And that special place is where only you can wrap your heart around.