I had a recent conversation with a friend who posed an interesting question: Why do people get so intimidated by wine, but not other beverages such as beer or vodka? I replied that for starters, wine is the only beverage that requires a special tool just to get it open. Then there is the lasting legacy of the snooty sommelier, the weird ritual of sniffing and gargling, and the perceived prerequisite that one must be fluent in the language of wine to comment on everything from its bouquet, long legs, and aromas of dried potpourri and pencil shavings.
I will admit this to the outside observer – we wine people do seem to make it harder than it really should be, and this is quite unfortunate. I remember that when I first got into wine, I was hesitant to speak up in front of others for fear of saying the wrong thing.