And Yet Another Definition For Sommelier

The last of these burritos. Tomorrow am we begin with the purple ones that have government truth chemicals in them. Nobody will dare say I used four letter wards in my writings. Life goes on. Cold is not that bad. And I admit I had a terrible week because was so weird. I spent days commuting and sort of training. Then middle of week is a holiday and now I go back to work again. Weird week. I did learn a couple of things not expected. One was again another definition for sommelier. I am not going to write on this again but the accidental finding is quite interesting. A sommelier by modern standard is a suit that smoothly sells you stuff and usually customer leaves very happy. Depending on establishment and kind of service this person will do anything from manager to trainer or ass-kisser to better customers. One historical aspect of sommelier is historical before French Revolution which unemployed many formerly staff of richer classes and they had to use their skills and built an open not closed and private hospitality industry sommelier was in charge of wine! They had a lot of wine. And wine came in barrels and kept there and so on. And this person had very very specific and personal opinion of each of them and how they were and what occasion they fit, how much they cost, when best to serve them and all the other little stuff. The from of house services were not as needed to be tipped by patrons. Sommelier ran the machinery of established wealthy household as far as wine went. He was the knowledge worker and not a surprise his position by dictionary (most wine people don’t know shit and a dictionary is final to their knowledge) used as a source in the field may not be so wrong in hinting sommelier position came from French military where this person did a similar job of provisions again to run the machinery of the army as far as his inventory. That is what I realized when I was told I can go to Vegas (not first time) and why? Because I can handle a shit size proportioned inventory of wine as just that by physically accepting its dimensions as part of the job and Vegas said that was all they cared to sommelier job! That hints at a new position (that I would never want) of sommelier in its most traditional sense as keeper of the inventory 95% of his time and 5% foo foo activities! That may not make sense to people but if we were to use or sell inventory on the spot and make the better decisions matching what we have of wine and quantity and price with best customer needs and of course our own biases and angles into the transaction, one needs to be a little sommelier inside his or her head who knows exactly what the shit is in the warehouse to the point of where it is hence how long to acquire it and every detail of quality, quantity and value so can match what the customer would prefer and adjust that transaction so is a business event in our interest also. All of this happens very fast. An experienced retailer knows what I am talking about. An experienced sales person knows part of it well. And a traditional trained sommelier probably thinks what? That is not a sommelier does! That is not my job! My shoes cost this much! This suit is from xyz and my nails were done by…. Yep. We don’t know much, do we? I tell a quick aside which matches here. I was once pouring a bunch of Sauvignons and such at Pacific something event where they didn’t tip the waiters because was a lot of wine and a lot of work wouldn’t do it so management got stuck helping the doushbags and their Oyster Bullshit event and there at the bar I was helping someone where W who is self-proclaimed wine expert at a chain liquor shop was doing his best to prove wine people are condescending bastards by telling loud stories to this person how 80% of California restaurants have fake sommeliers who were suits to sell expensive wine and did not know shit. His proof was average sommelier got paid $25000 which in restaurant money is competition for a good busboy in pay and the guy still did not believe him and I was thinking I tell people I am manager as I was and skip telling about sommelier part. That was way too offensive to be identified as a sucker in employ of doushbag California restaurant industry. That is a true story. And that guy gives ding dong scores to what they sell and thinks he is Robert Parker. He is as credible as Wine Enthusiast scores. They are 20% more enthusiastic than all the other publications in scoring in both cases. And I am nice and don’t tell names. This is new in wine industry 2014. Back to our topic, I learned a good thing from our week of being lost in a three dimensional cube of wine inventory and Vegas was ahead. My old habits are coming back and naturally I have an urge to absorb the wine list and be able to analyze it on many standards and thanks to Vegas I realize this physical dimension to a wine list or inventory. They physically do exist and not only location in the cube is a factor in decision making for proper sales or service but also visual records expand our sense of quantity and presentation. I can understand how an unfortunate professional would be a sommelier and can be a knowledge worker or professional whom solves very tender and profitable financial transactions mostly by having mastered the physical inventory in many dimensions beyond taste, vintages and so on to include three dimensional spacing and visual
memory. He or she should get a better job eventually but where not fake suits roam dining rooms to be a catalyst in wine sales. That is another definition for a sommelier. From cellars to air conditioned warehouses but still the same job of helping wine meet the drinker by using weird esoteric knowledge that can be learned not so easily communicated. I like another good definition and in a good size establishment the naughty sommelier can be banished to warehouse and still be a fancy sommelier! I like that too. 4 Jan 2013 7:19 am Hayward, California
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