Intrusive sommeliers

by Martin Field

In the latest issue of Slate online, Christopher Hitchens makes some valid points as he slags intrusive sommeliers, see Wine drinkers of the world, unite.

I’ve met a few sommeliers who know a lot more about wine than I ever will and who can advise and talk knowledgeably about it. For diners who don’t know much about wine these experts can be invaluable.

But for those who know what they like, some sommeliers (vinowaitus interruptus) come across as arrogant buttinskis.

I particularly detest those dudes and dudines whose only job it seems, is to flog pricier bottles and who overpour robotically to sell more wine – often with no regard to guests’ thirst, tastes, wallets, or sobriety.

And, who has ever met a sommelier who recommends inexpensive wines from their list?

PS – As for intrusiveness – I’ve been to restaurants lately where your conversation is still interrupted by wait staff wielding giant pepper grinders and pots of grated parmesan. I thought those went out with avocado vinaigrette.

3 thoughts on “Intrusive sommeliers

  1. Mike Tommasi


    the most intrusive I have seen is coming to grab your serviette from your lap, in order to change it after the main course… “hey watch those hands!”

    The worst sommelier I ever had, upon being asked to pick a wine, simply started reading the entire list to us.

  2. Estelle Platini

    Here in France many sommeliers try to propose wines at the bottom half of the list. Which often show the best margin 🙂
    I must admit that waiters can be intrusive here too…

  3. Leonardo Fontana

    What about women and wine?
    For example Mrs Berlucchi or Amanda Nebiolo, an important italian sommelier who is very conversant with Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Sassicaia (Bolgheri) and so on.
    If you are interested in “Women and Wine”
    Leonardo Fontana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *