Thanks to winewithkristen for posting this story and bringing it to my attention!
Here’s my favorite paragraph of this story:
Given the general public’s recent infatuation with the profession, it’s safe to say we’ve officially transitioned from the age of the stuffy sommelier to that of the casually hip “somm.” An exchange that once involved a highly formalized set of rituals (pour for the man to taste first, never leave the bottle on the table) now takes place amid the blare of rock music in wine-centric restaurants like Manhattan’s Pearl & Ash or Racines NY, where rather than wax poetic about Latour or Lafite, your somm will likely evangelize about the sherry renaissance or recommend some offbeat natural wine from the Loire.
It’s a great summary of the renaissance happening in the wine world. And it’s certainly the energy I’ve been feeding off of in my own discoveries these past few years. But I have to wonder if Zachary Sussman is suggesting that the less “stuffy” and more “casually hip” state of the industry is a reason for the rise in more women entering the field? It’s probably made it easier. But even if being a sommelier was still quite a formal profession – in today’s modern environment – would a lot of woman still be shut out?
I don’t have an answer. Just something to think about.
The Rise of Female Sommeliers
Why I’m Obsessed, Part 2 (Part 1)
If I had started this site a year ago, this post may have introduced you to something new, but chances are if you follow wine, you’re well aware of Somm, a documentary highlighting a group of students as they prepare for the master sommelier exam. I could spend plenty of time telling you why you should watch this film, but I won’t. Instead I just want to drop off a few items that resonated with my passion for wine while I re-watched the film this weekend (thanks,Netflix!).
- Ian Cauble, one of the students preparing for the exam, says wine is living life through your senses. It’s true. When you’re enjoying a glass of wine, you’re taking notice of its color, of its aromas and of its taste. You’re also feeling sensations as of you drink – whether it be smooth or the tannins dancing on your tongue. There’s talk of mouth-feel. Sipping wine, is more about experiencing it than just taking a sip and swallowing.
- Bo Barrett, of Chateau Montelena fame, talks about how buying a bottle of wine is always a wager… whether it’s $10, $100 or more, you never know exactly what you’re gong to get until you open the bottle and take your first sips. I must admit, I do enjoy a gamble, and I love the excitement as you begin to take that first sip hoping for an amazing new discovery.
- Dustin Wilson, who is also preparing for the exam, points out that while drinking wine, you’re learning about the culture and people of where it’s from… it’s a way of traveling the world. I alluded to this in my first “Why I’m Obsessed” post. There is always something new to learn about wine, and if you learn about the bottle you’re drinking, you get an amazing lesson in geography and culture of the region its from. It’s the closest to satisfying any wanderlust without physically traveling to the location.