Monday, 28 May 2018

Wine lists part one

I've not really posted anything for the last couple of years on account of my being really quite lazy. Also, I've had one or two other job related things to occupy my time.

However, over the last couple of years I've had some time to think about what it is that we do as sommeliers. Why it is that no one really cares what we think, well save from those people that sell to us, and why no one knows who we are (seriously, I've worked as a somm for a long time and I think I can only name about two other people who are somms (kidding, it's more like four)).

Basically it comes down to the difference between being a curator (yes, I understand you've read various critics complaining about the idea of curated lists but really if you agree with them and not me you can fuck right off an stop reading now) and a creator.

Most sommeliers in reality create nothing, in reality most of us pick and choose things off wine lists that have already been laboriously created by our wine merchant friends. We, under pressure from our bosses, aim to buy from as few different suppliers as possible. This, I can assure you, makes our lives as easy as possible. We then, post hoc justify most of our decisions (again, another thing I can assure you I'm excellent at) as being in service of the food, the style of the restaurant, the phase of the moon or any other handy reason we might have found.

I'm not trying to do my profession a disservice, I'm honestly not, I'm merely trying to enunciate the multiple hurdles that come between a sommelier and their ideal list. I like to think we've all got ideal lists knocking about in us, we just need to find the right place to show them.