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Wine 101: Cork Dorks vs. Wine Geeks


Rebel Rose
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Cork Dorks vs. Wine Geeks

If you have recently seen the movie Sideways, then perhaps you aspire to be a true wine geek, like the movie’s curmudgeonly and insecure character Miles.

However, to become a true wine geek, one must first grasp the difference between a wine geek—a person of questionable character and background with a lot of disposable income, lingering insecurities, and a hole in his mental bucket, but nevertheless someone who is passionately, absolutely in love with and consumed by wine—and a cork dork.

A cork dork is, well, not a wine geek.

Recently, at a dinner with friends, one man's date turned to me and complained, "He's so boring. All he ever talks about is wine. All day long he talks about wine."

Maybe I looked hurt, because I was just as engrossed in our discussion of Syrah as he was. Lorraine Alban (Alban Vineyards) leaned toward me and whispered, "She's right, you know. We're all hopeless wine geeks. Look at us from an outsider's point of view."

But the deeper I get into the world of wine, the harder that is to do. I think moving our discussion from Merlot to Syrah is a total change in conversation. Annie, an artist, compares it to a typesetters' convention. "We spend all day talking about serifs and points, and whether a particular "e" is the right shape for its font," she says, patting me on the shoulder. "We find it endlessly fascinating."

Have I lost touch with reality, drifting more and more into a fascination with varietal differences and degrees of oak, malolactic overindulgence and the varying theories on wild yeasts? Obviously I have. I am becoming a wine geek.

There is, however, a vast difference between a wine geek and a cork dork. In my lexicon, a wine geek, like a computer geek, is consumed by his field. He likes dry and sweet wines, white and red wines, French and American wines. He is an experience junkie, always looking for a new and vinous adventure.

A wine geek will look at an untried varietal like a biologist discovering a new phylum. "What's this? A pinot verde? Get out the Riedel, we must examine this!"

A cork dork, on the other hand, will hold his glass by the base. He'll swirl a wine until it's exhausted, and after a long speech on the supposed characteristics of a wine he has yet to taste, will finally sniff it and announce his disappointment in its aroma. A cork dork will aspire to all things French, and the barrels must be new, the women young, and the wines very old---although any one with any experience knows that these choices are not necessarily the best. If you try to pour him some dessert wine, he'll snatch his glass away in horror, leaving you in the foolish position of pouring wine on the table.

When visiting wine country, you will inevitably encounter both wine geeks and cork dorks. Therefore, I suggest these ten guidelines for differentiating between poseurs (dorks) and real geeks (us).

1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

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Mary Baker

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I'll play, Mary! Based on your questions I'm pretty solidly in the geek camp, but I guess I'll do these individually:

1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

Definitely leaning geek here, though I must point out that you used the word supercilious twice and spelled it incorrectly the second time, and that probably makes me, well...supercilious :biggrin:

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

Definite geek here, total redlining! It's all about the stem and the nose- in fact I did it during my wedding ceremony- completely out of habit- before taking a sip. The Rabbi got a look of total amusement on his face and joked "I trust the wine meets with your approval!" And yes, it was all caught on tape.

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

I have one cabinet full of palate deadening spices, whole and powders, from the Indian market and another cabinet full of chile pods and powders. Sweet wine, check. Sweet woman, check. Total geek.

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

Geek, and that's all you're getting out of me.

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

I've done the trading and the wheedling- solidly geek.

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

I can't afford much of a cellar myself, but I know people who can. And do. I usually play the role of the devil on their shoulder convincing them to open up a few cellared bottles 'before it's too late' (my favorite phrase- along with 'it's meant for consumption, it's not a trophy'). Geek here.

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

I think I'm exactly 50/50 on this one, not leaning either way. Define 'loudly'...

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

Totally leaning dork here, but I can explain! I'm usually looking for a general direction to go with the wine based on general flavor components (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) in what people are thinking of ordering, not looking to fine tune anything (not that there's anything wrong with that). I think that one can make a major mistake with a wine, and I just look to avoid that.

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

You must be reading my mail- total geek here.

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

Well...I do have a modest Avanti unit so...leaning dork.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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The Rabbi got a look of total amusement on his face and joked "I trust the wine meets with your approval!" And yes, it was all caught on tape.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Oh, baby. You are hereby forever dubbed a Geek, in spite of your politically Dork leanings.

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Mary Baker

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Yeah, I'm in. I was recently called a "Cork Dork" for the first time and sort of found it both flattering and worrisome at the same time. Oh well...

1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

Geek here, I love hearing people's opinion about wine and feel uncomfortable myself if I too enthusiastically impose my opinion on someone.

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

Yeah, stem and nose for me. I dread holding a glass by the bowl and getting finger smudges all over it- which just kills my girlfriend, but I have trained and feel quite comfortable enjoying nice stemware by the stem only. I suppose I would be all business in a way being that I am empathic about a wine's sent, but many people that I know who love wine just drink it rather that smell it.

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

Yes, and yes! I adore sweet wine and am enamored with woman who share the same view. Although spices are an instrumental part of my everyday cooking, I do take them in to account wen serving food with wine. So where does that leave me? I dont know. Anybody up for some Indian food with a little 2001 Chateau Climens?

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

Well, I am not thrilled about Burgundy, but I wont hesitate to say that I love all of the above.

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

Anybody looking for a used car? An original Beatles ticket stub? a Dyson Vacuum cleaner? Elvis stamps? How about my NYC apartment? I have got to get myself some more 2001 Sauternes, 2002 Loire, 2000 Bordeaux, 2000 Vintage Port, anything German ... I am in nedd of wine... somebody please help me...!

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

Yeah, my girl thinks I am crazy when she come home to find me shaking the hell of the decanter. She just doesn't understand that it is 2000 Bordeaux that really isn't ready to be drunk but we just have to have it tonight! C'mon!

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

I haven't been on a first date since I have been afflicted with the wine bug, and therefor I cannot say for sure, but I do consider myself to be conscientious of any audible wine movements.

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

I think that I tend to do a little bit of both. I do tend to look at the wine list first, if that counts for anything, but also take into consideration to a degree what we will be eating.

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

I enjoy points because they are quick, but also understand that they don't necessarily mean that I will like the wine. Points are new to me and I am a little unsure of just how they affect my buying habits.

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

Total geek here. But if I could be a dork and have every single one of my bottle under the ideal storage condition I would in a heart beat. Even if it meant being a cork dork... :smile:

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1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

Definitely leaning geek here, though I must point out that you used the word supercilious twice and spelled it incorrectly the second time, and that probably makes me, well...supercilious  :biggrin:

I thought I spotted a pun there: "super-silly-ous" - get it? :wink:

As to the rest... I'm somewhere in the middle on too many of them to be comfortable sharing.

Just kidding.

On 1)... *other people* have opinions!? That's... awkward.

2) I grab the glass by any protruding extrusion and rotate it so as to cause liquid to flow over the rim. Repeat. Rinse only if changing varietal.

3) 'Kay. Geek. Don't even understand the alternative. Though I love Tokay and Riesling TBAs much more than Sauternes. And Port... well, me likee.

4) Geek. Though I'd *love* to be able to afford being a Dork waaaay more often.

5) See 4)

6) *Why* do Geeks shake old bottles around again? Just puts off drinking for *minutes* sayz I!

7) Yeah. The swizzling thing is just annoying. 'Though I have pretty good sinus control.

8) First I choose a wine that seems interesting. Then I order food that *does* match, usually. Dunno what that makes me.

9) I *love* numerical ratings. I get just all excited when St. Estephes get *way* underrated, and all that St. Emilion candy gets great numbers. Every cent Parker drives a wine *up* is a cent that doesn't get spent driving up the price of the wines *I* like.

10) I'm with Jaybert. I've had some of my bottles go off from inadequate storage. It's very very sad.

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Definite geek here, total redlining! It's all about the stem and the nose- in fact I did it during my wedding ceremony- completely out of habit- before taking a sip. The Rabbi got a look of total amusement on his face and joked "I trust the wine meets with your approval!" And yes, it was all caught on tape.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

That's hysterically funny! Sadly though, I might find myself doing the same thing completely unconsciously. :rolleyes:

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

More geek, I'll make you feel comfortable, but on the inside I won't always your opinion. On the other hand I won't be bothered if you didn't value mine, 'cause I know I'm right. :biggrin:

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

Depends, I swing both ways with this one.

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

I don't like sweet wine, but I do have palate deadening spices in my kitchen. (I'm a woman, am I allowed to answer this question?)

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

I'm a Geek, but I like my Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

I'm a Geek, but I don't wheedle.

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

Neither

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

I'll try to taste the wine, but do it discreetly.

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

I'm a dork.

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

I don't do either.

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

Neither.

I suppose I'm geork or dorek (or deek).

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Gee, I must be a drinker of wine. Never without a corkscrew or glass, always ready to try something new. How much, is the usual question. :raz::raz::raz::laugh:

Edited by winesonoma (log)

Bruce Frigard

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Great topic, Rebel!

A few friends and I have actually been referring to the "wine dorks" as something a little less... well, kind. We happened to be leaving a tasting one day when a friend said, "I hate those <insert a short word for rear end> hats." (Urban Dictionary link)

Since it's pretty easy to imagine an awkward moment arising if you were to call a person that name to his or her face, we simply call those folks "wine hats." A gentleman who had cornered us in a tasting room and proceeded to slowly torture us with tales that began like "Once, at a Hollywood dinner party where I just happened to be sitting next to...", actually took the term "wine hat" to be some sort of profound compliment. Ever since, that phrase has become part of our lexicon.

Personally, I like to think of myself as a wine geek. I've found that there are two more differences between the dorks and the geeks: 1) the dorks don't ever seem to get that far away look in their eyes as they gaze upon wine in a glass (that look that seems to indicate that because of the wine, the geek's view of the world has somehow, if only temporarily, become more forgiving) and 2) dorks wouldn't be doing what they do if they were invisible -- geeks don't need or care or notice the social implications of enjoying wine.

As to the numerical ratings: I am a hypocrite, there's no doubt about it. I'm with Capaneus w/respect to my feelings about what Parker's or the WS's ratings do to the cost... but my personal notes aren't free of numbers.

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I've found that there are two more differences between the dorks and the geeks: 1) the dorks don't ever seem to get that far away look in their eyes as they gaze upon wine in a glass (that look that seems to indicate that because of the wine, the geek's view of the world has somehow, if only temporarily, become more forgiving) and 2) dorks wouldn't be doing what they do if they were invisible -- geeks don't need or care or notice the social implications of enjoying wine.

How true, jrt!

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Mary Baker

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As to the numerical ratings: I am a hypocrite, there's no doubt about it.  I'm with Capaneus w/respect to my feelings about what Parker's or the WS's ratings do to the cost... but my personal notes aren't free of numbers.

Do not fuss and/or fret, My Good Man: I will confess to frequently using Parker myself, though I tend to use him to alert me to particularly high-quality bargains at the bottom of the price charts - he's largely responsible for pointing me toward Spanish reds almost a decade ago, and I'll always be thankful. I find that for *those* wines his palate is very useful. We just don't track that well once we move up. I think he knows his limitations, given the brief he has chosen to unload onto Rovani (who is better than him on Burgs, though his palate seems to be getting Parkerized too, over time).

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Okay, let's see what I am...

1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

I can be silly, even super-silly, but I hope I am not supercilious. I certainly enjoy expressing my opinion, but like to think I listen well to others. One of the things I enjoy most is sharing wine and seeing someone's eyes light up and their thoughts (good or bad) just come pouring out. Geek 1/Dork 0.

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

Definitely geek. I find holding a glass by the base awkward in both feel and appearance. And I can't wait to get my nose in! Geek 2/Dork 0

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

I do like sweet wines, though I find a lot of them unbalanced. Good ones, however, are awesome. And as a fan of Thai and Korean cooking, I definitely have a few spices. Geek 3/Dork 0 So far, so good.

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

Okay, Burgundy is absolutely, positively my favorite region. Bordeaux is okay. Enjoy, not crazy about it. I try to speak French, but my accent makes my wife cringe and it would make you cringe too! If you heard me try to speak French, you wouldn't want to kiss me -- French or otherwise. Geek 3.5/Dork 0.5

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

Living in Tokyo, I don't have much opportunity to barter or trade. I do like magnums and will buy wine in magnum when the premium is not excessive. Guess the answer is that I'd like to be a trading, wheedling geek, but have to settle for dork. Geek 3.5/Dork 1.5

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

Okay, I guess by this definition I am definitely a dork. I completely disagree with the only holding until a wine is "drinkable". I definitely don't shake the bottles I'm itching to drink. I've never asked "how long can I hold this?", but I do care about full development and not just drinkability. I do find something thrilling in a completely mature wine...even one that has started down the backside of the slope. Geek 3.5/Dork 2.5

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

Not only are loud swizzling noises unseemly, they're also unnecessary. Also, while I love the nose of a great wine, I have no desire to have great wine in my nose. Safely in the geek range here. Geek 4.5/Dork 2.5

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

Sometimes the order is reversed -- choose a wine, then food to match -- but I'm definitely thinking matching when I order wine and food. I really enjoy the exercise and really believe it is essential to enjoying both the wine and the food at their best. Guess I'm a dork. Geek 4.5/Dork 3.5

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

Don't subscribe to any newletters that use numerical ratings and don't use them in my own notes. Certainly don't buy off ratings. But then again, neither do I respond with "woulda given it a xx". I just say, "Man, what was wrong with [insert critic name] that day. I really like/don't like that wine." If the note is accurate and ratings are off, I attribute it to palate differences. This happens often with Parker. If the note seems like it came out of left field, then I really wonder. Think I'm a geek here, but maybe that's wishful thinking. Geek 5.5/Dork 3.5

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

Definitely no chairs; can't figure out where they'd go. I do, however, have proper storage. It's not elegant -- a wine fridge on the landing leading down to my basement and good passive storage in an ugly storeroom in the basement -- but it is good storage. This whole exercise seems to be about enthusiasm versus snobbery/show, so I have a problem believing a properly enthusiastic geek wouldn't care about storage. Okay...no chairs or fancy decoration, but good temp control...split the difference...half geek and half dork. Geek 6.0/Dork 4.0

Bummer! I didn't think I'd come out a full 40% dork. I'll have to fix that. Maybe I should start trading...yeah...that's it! Any of you pureblood geeks have any properly stored magnums of old burgundy that you want to unload? I know that wouldn't be worth much to a real geek, but I could come up with a few dollars, I'm sure.

Thanks Mary. This was fun.

Jim

Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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What a great topic, Mary. Beyond that it solved a long time conflict for me. That conflict being a wine junkie yet being one with great disdain for wine snobs. Wine junkies and wine snobs sort of get grouped together. This delineation between geek and dork solves that problem very well. I'm definitely a geek, full fledged. I'm also vary wary of those that don't like sweet wines.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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  • 1 year later...

You know you're a wine geek when . . .

the guy who runs the official Twentieth Century Fox Sideways Wine Club blogs this week about wine geeks and . . .

I took that picture. And the link to "insufferable wine snobs"? Yep, me again.

Sad. Pitiful. And yet, I feel strangely honored. I think I'll buy a pith helmet and a large magnifying glass this weekend.

The guy in the picture is a local wine merchant, and I'm hoping he'll never find out. :unsure:

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1. A dork will make you feel uncomfortable. They are supercilious, punctilious, and from my point of view, just plain supersillious. A geek, however, will make you feel comfortable, and value your opinion of his wines.

My wife says I bore people because I talk about wine all the time, but then she isn't "into" wine other than to indulge my buying sprees and drink my Pinot Noir. Hopefully I am the geek and not the dork, since I always want to share wine and find out what others think about it. Maybe that is why my siblings keep showing up at my house around dinner time.

2. A dork holds his glass by the base, or with his fingers curled sensuously around the body of the glass. A geek grabs his glass by the stem and just sticks his nose in. All business.

Definitely a geek at first glance, I have an unfortunate tendency to stick my nose into the glass first thing. But after a while the glass ends up cupped in my hand so that I won't drop it as I discuss politics or the latest book my wife made me read.

3. Geeks love sweet wine and the women who drink them. Always keep a bottle on hand for the sensual possibilities. A dork does not keep sweet wine or palate deadening spices in his kitchen.

Spices all over the place, who can cook without them? As for sweet wines, my wife likes them, nuff said.

4. Dorks love to mention Bordeaux and Burgundy. Geeks speak and kiss French.

Not touching that one. Thank goodness you didn't discuss Greek wine.

5. Dorks spend as much as possible for large bottles at auction, hoping for the ultimate photo opp. Geeks barter, trade and wheedle for wine, but always seem to have plenty on hand.

Hate big bottles, wish there were more wines sold in 375s. What is the use of a big bottle when two or three normal ones will do? Barter, trade, done that more times than I can count.

6. Dorks will ask, "How long will this wine cellar?" Geeks will age a wine only as long as necessary to make it drinkable. They have been known to pick up old bottles and hold them up to the light, shaking the sediment around, and saying, "Do you think I can drink this now?"

Don't you hate it when you find a bottle in the back of the cellar that is way past its prime. I buy bottles that will age, only because I can't drink all the wine I have now and the kid has three years before he is old enough for me to give him some of it for his cellar.

7. In a restaurant, dorks will swizzle wine loudly through their teeth before taking the first swallow. Geeks never do this on a first date, because they know if you laugh, the wine will come out your nose.

Haven't been on a date since I got married over 21 years ago. Besides, if you are with other wine geeks, the noise is frightful.

8. Dorks will order food, then a wine to match. Geeks order wine, and a totally unrelated food. They're always surprised by how well food and wine go together.

I usuall order food to match the wine I bring or am ordering. But then, sometimes it is the other way around. I never met a wine geek who wasn't a foodie too.

9. Dorks follow numerical wine ratings and place their bets accordingly. Geeks are the hecklers of the wine world, and can often be overheard saying, "That wine got an 87? Geesh, I woulda given it a 91. 92?!? How did that wine rate? Are we sure that's not the judge's age??"

I prefer my son's rating system. I like it, can I have more, Dad buy some of this stuff for the cellar. Otherwise, I prefer rating using the Fahrenheit rather than Celsius scale.

10. Dorks have a proper cellar for their wine collection, with adequate temperature controls, and chairs. Geeks and winemakers use their cellars for "important stuff," and store their personal selections in the garage, between the kayak and the workbench.

What, who ever heard of a geek whose wine didn't outgrow the temperature controlled space available? Best wine in the VinoTemp, rest of it in the coolest part of the house, under the bed, etc.

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