Norton Safeweb

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

So You Want to be a Sommelier

Sommelier (French, noun) - A professionally trained wine snob who can make any restaurant customer feel inferior when they are trying to order something to drink for dinner. Hint: order a beer. Pronounce "sommelier" by holding your nose so you voice takes on a nasal (aka French) quality and say, "smellier." That will be close enough.

Wanna-be sommeliers spend thousands to be trained by sommeliers that couldn't find restaurant jobs. You'll run into people who say they are sommeliers because they've taken the "intro" course. The master level has only a couple hundred people--it's like a triple black belt.

Why would you want to turn something fun, like wine, into something so serious? Why would you want to have to give a shit about Greek wine? Why would you want to spend all that money on certification? Money that could be used to actually buy wine?

Yeah, this guy looks like a real good time. Not!
Image from

I mean can you imagine a get-together of these high-and-mighty wine geeks? They'd tell jokes like, "Your farts are so bad they smell like Pinotage" or "Is that a 375 ml in your pocket or are you just happy to see a properly chilled bottle of Viognier"?

I've gained my (very limited) wine knowledge just by being around it. Living in Sonoma County for 35 years and it'll just rub off on you. I've worked in winery tasting rooms. Hell, when I wasn't thinking clearly I even ran tasting rooms!

Yes, knowledge is good. Just don't take it too seriously. Save the seriousness for the people looking for a cure for cancer.

Keep wine in the glass surrounded by good friends and good times and no pretensions.