Last week I watched Somm. Shai, from my ever-expanding circle of whisky-friends from Israel (and the USA) recommended it after he saw me struggle through the Blind Tasting Competition (post on the last dram coming up).
Technically it’s not a movie, but a documentary about four guys wanting to become a Master Sommelier. To become a Master, you already have to be at the advanced level and be invited to the exam.
To do the exam you more or less have to be able to blind taste a wine and find the country, region and sub region it’s from. That means USA -> California -> Sonoma -> Russian River Valley. Oh, and the kind of grape and vintage. Preferably the winehouse too.
And then there’s the theory. I convince myself every now and again I have some sizable THEORETICAL knowledge of whisky. Nothing spectacular like industry professionals, but on an amateur level I seem to suck up random facts and folklore like a sponge. (not the whiskysponge…)
What you need to know for the Master Sommelier exam is stellar. ‘DOC’ wine houses in eastern Romania. The eight distilleries on Islay (nothing special for us geeks, but it would be comparable to know all wineries on Corsica, or something like that). It’s insane.
Anyway, the movie is about that. About how these dudes train themselves with thousands of flash cards and getting together to blind taste wines and described them.
This just might have been the most interesting thing I’ve watched all year and while I am generally not overly interested in wine, I found it a joy to watch as well. There’s a lot to learn, and especially techniques of tasting and describing things to analyze origin and character.
I should do that in the competition. It might work. So, highly recommended for booze geeks out there!