I love movies that let you peek inside a subculture that you might not be able to access otherwise: Word Wars, which follows competitive Scrabble players, and Spellbound, which featured the kids vying to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, are two that come to mind. I'd say that SOMM, which will be available on iTunes on June 21st, has more in common with these movies than wine documentaries like Mondovino or flicks like Sideways.
'sommeliers' on Serious Eats
We have a high-priest class in fine dining restaurants. They possess the mysteries, and while nearly all of them are remarkably affable and helpful, one's heart can quake when they approach the table. "I must be able to navigate this crucible if I want anyone to even like me, let alone get...lucky." So what does an otherwise capable person do in this delicate moment? How do you make it through with your aplomb intact, and furthermore, how do you get the most from your sommelier?
When many of us encounter a sommelier at a fancy restaurant, we get intimidated and don't say much. It seems awkward to ask questions about a wine list that might as well be in gibberish, and even worse to say that we don't want to spend too much. But according to Patrick Cappiello, the wine director at GILT Restaurant, the newest generation of sommeliers really want to help you find something delicious to drink, so you should just get chatty! In this episode of Wine Protips, Patrick suggests a few things that you should tell a sommelier so that you will end up with a bottle of wine you really like.
Fred Dexheimer's motto when it comes to wine is "you only live once, so try everything you can!" By doing so, he earned the prestigious and fairly rare title of Master Sommelier; in 2007, he become the 79th Master Sommelier in the United States. Despite the fancy title, Fred's easygoing, down-to-earth attitude allows him to spread the grape gospel to newbies and experts alike. Fred took some time to share his advice on how to learn about wine and the perfect pairing for a cheeseburger.
Eric Asimov's recent blog post on drinking beer with "wine people" reminded me of my first night on the floor as a sommelier at Babbo. Any time someone wanted a bottle from the cellar, I had to run down a flight of stairs, make sure not to bump into anyone running food, squeeze my way through the people crowding the maître d' (always brandishing a sweet, comforting smile even though I was freaking out on the inside), run down another flight of stairs, and search for the bottle in the enormous space. Then I would repeat the whole process on the way up. I broke a sweat in my first 30 minutes on the job, and this went on for...
What do top sommeliers drink at home? Try a £5.99 bottle of red... Eleven of London's top sommeliers recommend affordable wines, most under $20. Matthieu Gaignon, Gordon Ramsay's sommelier at the double Michelin-starred Petrus, likes Château Cazal Viel Cuvée des Fées 2003 Saint Chinian, which retails for £5.99 (about $12). Pricier than Two Buck Chuck but still within reach!...