Yesterday a family was walking behind me and the dad shared there was a poster for a movie on wine. The little girl said, "Why would anyone want to watch a movie about wine?"
It's not just wine geeks or those in the industry that will enjoy the new wine documentary SOMM.
It's about four men in their final few weeks preparing for the most difficult wine test in the world to become a Master Sommelier.
With a pass rate of around 10%, the test requires an insane knowledge of service, theory and tasting. In the service portion, you may decant a wine; in theory portion, answer obscure wine questions on region, grapes, etc. (like what is Cabernet Moravia...a grape bred from Cabernet Franc & Zweigeltrebe from Czech Republic); and during the tasting portion, identify the grape varieties, district and appellation of origin, and vintage of six wines in 25 minutes.
SOMM’s director, Jason Wise describes the blind tasting as a “ballet without music.”
It is a beautiful documentary that shows the true experience as these four guys prepare for the exam. You see them beyond their professional settings, you get a glimpse as to why they want it for themselves and you see the impact their studies have on their personal lives.
It is truly a story of determination. If last month you found yourself cheering for Nik Wallenda the tightrope walker over the Grand Canyon; praying the kids in the Scripps Spelling Bee would spell a word correctly; or routing for an underdog athlete or sports team than this documentary is for you.
Different members of the audience at the screening at The Grand Del Mar cried, cheered and laughed as we watched these four men test themselves. If I shared if any of them are now part of the 201 Master Sommeliers around the world, it would be like telling you who the killer is at the end of a horror movie.
You can catch SOMM at a few theaters or you can download the movie on iTunes and create your own tasting party. Make some food and pair it with wine. Perhaps you might enjoy a sommelier’s favorite pairing of popcorn with a buttery Chardonnay from California.
Watch SOMM. Be inspired.