The Food Network's Alton Brown on How to Fake Being a Wine Snob

Alton Brown can be insufferable when he does things like issue a detailed set of instructions for his fans at book signings. But sometimes he does stuff that's not only funny but kind of useful, such as his interview on Monday with Grub Street on how to fake expertise in all kinds of food topics. "I work very hard to make my job look hard," the Food Network host told Grub Street's Alyssa Shelasky. He then filled her in on how to fake it as a wine snob, cheese snob, home cook, and other things, because sometimes it seems necessary to appear smarter than you really are. His advice on ordering wine:

"Look at the wine list and narrow in on something like the Brunellos. Then look for a year that's missing, and say, "Do you have the '84?" And the waiter will say "no." And then they might recommend a different year, but you should reply, "Yeah but that year was too 'wet'" and they'll agree because they won't know the difference. And soon the conversation will get going and you're safe."

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