Are sommeliers conceited?
Are sommeliers conceited?
Sommelier - suh · muhl • yay
Have you ever been out to a restaurant and you see the sommelier walking back and forth throughout the dining room floor with a bottle in hand, probably wearing a fancy suit? Have you been wondering what they do or been intimidated by their presence? Have you heard them talk on and on about far away places with beautiful scenery and one of a kind winemaker with a vision of how they wanted that wine to age and taste amazing all throughout its life? Are they just making this stuff up or do they really know what they are talking about?
I have seen this in years past and before I started working in restaurants and hotels I was very intimidated by the presence of a sommelier. I thought I wasn’t really worthy of their time. I only had a few questions to ask and I wasn’t going to be spending a lot of money on a bottle anyway. Since there are so many different wines on the market, how can I possibly know all of these and their differences?
When I started studying for my sommelier certification, I learned that hospitality has to be at the core of your being, sommeliers are there to help and guide you to the right bottle for you. When I was working, I knew that it was my job to help curate a great dining experience for my guests. Yes I did wear suits and was well dressed, but that was to show my guests that I was a working professional that takes their job very seriously. I wanted them to trust me in showing them the right bottle that would give them the best dining experience. Sometimes my guests were going to be spending hundreds of dollars and they needed a trusted person to show them the way. My job was to read and do research on all the bottles on the wine menu. I would spend days and weeks reaching out to winemakers to get all the accurate information concerning their wines. It was so important to me to know their story so that I could describe their wines to all of my guests.
Sometimes I remember speaking a bit lengthy about a certain wine region or winemaker and I remember thinking to myself that I may come across as a little bit conceited, but I was really just answering my guests' questions and giving them all the information they needed to make their decision on which bottle of wine to get. I can see how some people would think sommeliers are conceited however I view it as a person who is disciplined in studying about a very intimidating topic such as wine. However with this piece, my hope is that somms are more approachable and are viewed as assets to a restaurant and a tool for you to use to enjoy your next dining experience.
Sommelier / Wine Coach