Monday, September 1, 2014

How to Be a Successful Sommelier


Having the letters “M.S.” after your name doesn’t mean you’re a sommelier. A sommelier works in a restaurant. From the several dozen I’ve met, judging by their occupations, I was pretty sure “M.S.” stood for “Master Shill.” I, also, have letters after my name, letters I awarded myself for my particularly vast knowledge of wine, and who better to recognize that vast knowledge than me?, but the letters, “H.M.W.,” are often misunderstood. Most people assume “H.M.W.” stands for “HoseMaster of Wine.” I can understand the confusion. But, in fact, they stand for “His Majesty of Wine.” It’s only my humility that keeps me from pointing it out more often. Though I’ll thank you all to address me properly in the future. It’s a bit pretentious, but I don’t make the rules. So from now on it’s, “His Royal Highness, Commander of Wine, HoseMaster of Wine the First.” I love titles!

For the rest of my sage advice on how to be a great sommelier, you'll have to jump over to Tim Atkin's award-winning wine site. Leave plenty of witty comments, and a small gratuity for the busboy.

Tim Atkin, MW

6 comments:

Dean Tudor said...

The registration process at Tim Atkins is too convoluted for me to handle. I grew up with DOS...

Suffice it to say that I teach courses leading to the MWW - Master of Wine Writing...

Dean Tudor said...

Open University credits...

Charlie Olken said...

Love the Atkins article, but I wonder why only the American members of your Court are commenting on it.

I suspect the Brits have two problems. Some of them simply did not understand the laugh lines. And the others need their prix fixe'.

And by the way, as a MG (Master of the Gallstone), I can tell you that it is a lot harder to pass than the MS.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Charlie,
My posts at Tim's get a lot of attention--lots of play on FaceBook and Twitter for the current one--but not a lot of comments except from my common taters. It's the same all over the world--hard to comment on my kind of stupid.

Mark D said...

Maybe it's because I spent a good portion of my career as a Sommelier but that might just be one of my favourite posts of all time!
Spot on. Laugh out loud funny. I have spoken to my doctor and will be scheduling a prix fixe shortly......

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Mark,
Thanks for the kind words, especially considering your sommelier background. There are a lot of really cool and interesting sommeliers in the world. And then there are the ones who believe their own press. It's those clowns, and they are legion, at whom I aim my crap.