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Question: Are bad sommeliers a menace to wine?

Today’s Question of the Week: Are bad sommeliers a menace to society?

     One would think so based on this article in London-based Decanter magazine titled “Christopher Hitchens launches vitriolic attack on sommeliers.”

     It quotes American wine author Hitchens: “The vile practice of butting in and pouring wine without being asked is the very height of bad manners. Not only is it a breathtaking act of rudeness in itself, but it conveys a none-too-subtle and mercenary message: ‘Hurry up and order another bottle.’ “

     Now, I love sommeliers. They’re fellow hedonists, always ready to schmooze about the glories of wine. But I have seen the occasional one going around the table filling everybody’s glass to the brim.

     This makes it impossible to swirl, and it tends to empty the bottle, pressuring the host to buy another, even if some of the diners aren’t finishing their overfilled glasses. And it’s hard to tell them to stop it without creating a fuss, which can put a damper on a nice meal.

     Wine fans, read the whole article and tell me what you think.

     Sommeliers, how do you react to this?

     Click on the "comments" icon below.


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You wine types are getting awfully self-deprecating lately.

Are bad sommeliers a menace to society? Do wine critics have a reason to live?

You deal in vino.



I believe that in this town Sommelier are not the problems, rather the fear of some of the owners who only want to keep the status quo and sell out even before they open. Giving the community the same unimaginative wine list all over town.

This is so pathetic does! No one dares to bring quality and imagination to this town. Shall they keep treating the customer like children only feeding them labels and scores. I think the public is ready for knowledge and a sense of discovery that is what wine is about and a good Sommelier can bring this to the mix

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