When someone recommends a good wine I’m always intrigued to try it; the same goes with a good book or movie. Recently I was recommended a documentary to watch about wine. While this particular documentary did not feature the sweet narrating sounds of David Attenborough, it did however feature a lot of wine.
The documentary is called SOMM.
SOMM, short for Sommelier, follows the journey of 4 mates on their quest to gain ‘Master Sommelier’ status from the Court of Master Sommeliers; the most prestigious status a wine expert can receive in the world of wine.
So what is a Sommelier? These are the guys who you would normally see in a fancy restaurant. They’re the ones who can match a wine perfectly with food, and understand cellar rotation and optimum serving temperature of wine. They are also the ones who work with chefs in putting together the wine list for a restaurant. These guys are extremely well educated in wine, and know everything there is to know about wine, and I mean everything – from the grape variety, to country of origin, to the history of wine making and new techniques in the industry.
To gain Master Sommelier status, it requires extensive study, exams, training, plenty of wine consuming and, at the end, a final examination from the Court of Master Sommeliers. The course itself can take years, with the final exam being known as one of the toughest exams in the world …and here I was thinking my year 10 maths exam was the toughest in the world.
Currently, there are just over 215 Master Sommeliers in the world. With this status only having been around for 40 years, that equates to roughly 5 being awarded each year – yep, I can do math. Once this status is achieved, the doors really do open up for you in terms of job opportunities, career prospects, and bigger salaries.
SOMM is an amazing insight in to what it takes to become a Master Sommelier. The knowledge these guys have about wine is mind blowing. Their innate ability to pin point every single tasting note of a wine almost makes them sound like ‘Rain Man’. Not only can they describe a wine perfectly, but they can even pin point the variety, the country of origin, the region it hails from, and get this…even the year of the wine. CRAZZY! With a talent like that, they would be an awesome friend to have around when buying a ‘clean skin’ wine. Towards the end of the documentary, I was completely drawn in and even found myself cheering on for the four mates to pass their test, just like I would at a footy match – not really, but I was close! So do they pass? You will just have to watch it for yourself to find out.
So in the words of Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour, go out and watch it.
Until next time winos,