Paula and I ordered pizza from Žilina last night (which was of course barely warm 90 minutes later when it was delivered to Strecno) and opened a bottle of Italian wine (selected by Tesco ) and watched the film Somm. Somm documents the travails of a group of young men preparing to take the grueling qualifying exam for The Court of Master Sommeliers. These Master Sommeliers are the Jedi Knights of wine (“This is not the wine you’re looking for”)–they know everything there is to know about every wine in the world–and can identify every wine by its appearance, aroma, viscosity, color, and taste. They can tell you the history of the village where the wine was produced, the variety of grape (did you know there are 3,000 varieties of grape in Italy alone?), the year it was bottled, and the name of the vintner’s sister. (Just kidding on the last one.) Fascinating stuff.
All the wine lore and vinology (or whatever you call it) and the demanding nature of the preparation for the exam to enjoy this exclusive gild of masters made for a dramatic setting. But quickly the focus of the film became the friendships that developed among some of the candidates, and how the competition effected their relationships. That too could have been very interesting–but it became only mildly so. I dozed briefly.
Still, I’d say the film is worth a watch–especially if your pizza is hot and your wine was chosen by a Master Sommelier.