Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What it Takes to Become a Sommelier

Wine can be a delightful way to relax after a hard day, accompany a meal, or share with friends, but some people take the pleasure to exquisite extremes. After reading the Winemaker Detective Series, I was fascinated by some people’s ability to sip wine and be able to give a complete history of the grape, the area where the wine was produced, the vineyard, the flavors, tannins, and the wine’s legs.

The author listened to sommeliers describe the wines available at good restaurants and wondered if these people had been gifted genetically with extra powers of taste and smell. Taking a year and a half, she absorbed herself in the wine culture learning what it takes to become a sommelier. After reading the book, I know it has to be an obsession. People spend all their time tasting wine, learning about vineyards, and memorizing vintages.

The book is filled with amusing incidents and self-deprecating humor. It is also filled with information on the sommelier exam and how to prepare for it, scientific information on smell and taste, and the etiquette of blind tastings. Her travels range from the wine culture of New York city to vineyards in California.

The book is also filled with delightful characters like Henry, who became her mentor. He is obviously very bright and totally devoted to the study of wine to the exclusion of almost anything else in his life.

If you’re fascinated by the wine culture where people actually drink $200 bottles of wine and compare the taste, I recommend this book. It’s
easy to read and gives a full course in the intricacies of wine.

I received this book from Penguin Group for this review.