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Wine editor Lettie Teague goes undercover at a New York City restaurant and learns there's more to being a sommelier than small talk and sturdy shoes.
Forget the image of wine waiters as overpaid snobs. In reality, they are perfectionists putting in 17-hour days in conditions that would embarrass a chimney sweep.
Earning the title of Master Sommelier is no easy feat. The exam is notoriously difficult and only those who truly live and breathe in the world of wine have any chance of making it, as Matt Stamp MS explains...
Fashion designers are celebrities. Chefs are rock stars. What about sommeliers? These wine professionals are getting their 15 minutes of fame too.
So many fine dining restaurants tout their various "diamonds" or "stars", with a dining room so stuffy that it makes you afraid to laugh too loud or order a Chardonnay (gasp!) with your filet mignon for fear of getting that look from your server that screams "amateur." This is not the case with C.F.Prime Chophouse and Wine Bar.
What exactly is a Sommelier's education? What are the requirements to call yourself an official sommelier?
Successful sommeliers must be passionate about two things: wine and people. In a sense, a sommelier is a matchmaker, seeking to delight customers with perfect pairings of food and wine.