Master Sommelier Documentary SOMM Premiers at Angelika Film Centers Wednesday
The CSM was first established in the 1960s in England as a way to "encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. Education was then, and remains today, the Court's charter," according to press materials for the film.
In more than 40 years since the program started only 186 candidates have earned the master sommelier diploma. The exam covers literally every nuance of the world of wine, spirits and cigars.
While we're not typically inclined to pull straight from press releases, we just can't pass this paragraph up:
Those who have passed have put at risk their personal lives, their well-being, and often their sanity to pull it off. Shrouded in secrecy, access to the Court Of Master Sommeliers has always been strictly regulated and cameras have never been allowed anywhere near the exam, until now.
A trailer for the documentary shows a few of the guys studying/training for the exam. And it appears the members of the world's most exclusive wine club aren't immune to the antics that befall anyone when a camera is put in front of them for the purposes of reality TV. Following is one quick excerpt. (To set the scene, things are tense. Borderline hostile):
Guy 1: "Is this really happening right now?"
Guy 2 (defensive): "I don't know. You tell me."
I know you are, but what am I? I know you are but, what am I? I know youuuuuuu are..."
If you're skeptical, intrigued or fascinated (or a pinch of all), the documentary starts at 7:30 p.m. at each Angelika location on Wednesday. You'll be able to explore the "world of obsession, hope, and friendship in red, blanc and sometimes rose."