6 Things Sommeliers Hate to Hear.

5 Things Sommeliers Hate to Hear.

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ll know EXACTLY what I’m talking about in this post. If on the other hand none of this makes any sense to you, you are part of the problem.



What the Sommelier says: “I’m sorry, Sir/Madam. We do offer a corkage fee, or may I suggest something within a particular price range?”

What the Sommelier thinks: “That’s right! You run to the grocery store! Maybe when you arrive back here we can give you a brown paper bag and you can drink your wine directly from the bottle; that is, after your friends have finished whispering about how much of a cheap arse you are…”


What the Sommelier says: “Hmmm…I’m not sure Sir/Madam. I can check for you online if you wish.”

What the Sommelier thinks: “If I see you in the parking lot after I finish my shift, I’m going to stab you, you pretentious-no-palate-can’t-think-for-yourself prick.”


What the Sommelier says: “That really depends on your own personal preference, Sir/Madam. I’m more than happy to spend some time going over previous wines you have enjoyed, and then maybe taste you on a few until we find something that will be to your liking.”

What the Sommelier thinks: “You do realize you might as well ask ‘How long is a piece of string?’ Plus, the chances that you’re going to be satisfied with whatever I personally recommend are so remote that instead I’m just going to throw out the name of the cheapest wine on the list and I GUARANTEE you’ll inevitably end-up ordering it. This isn’t my first rodeo, darling.”


What the Sommelier says: ”Well that’s unfortunate Sir/Madam! Maybe we can find something else for you. A cocktail, perhaps?”

What the Sommelier thinks: “Well that’s unfortunate Sir/Madam!  Maybe, judging by the crazy rosacea you’ve got going-on, it’s more to-do with the 3 bottles you inevitably slam each night after you get home from work, and less to do with any ACTUAL medically diagnosed allergic reaction!”


What the Sommelier says: “No problem at all Sir/Madam! Let’s spend a few minutes exploring some other wine regions that will be more to your liking.”

What the Sommelier thinks: “Really!?!?? You’ve tasted EVERY WINE from <insert any country/region here> have you? EVERY WINE!?!?! Get out. Just get out.”



What the Sommelier says: “Hmmmm…Castle Rock? No? Caymus? No? Ceja? No? Chalk Hill? No? Chamisal? No? Chappellet? No? Charles Krug? No? Chimney Rock? No? Clos du Val? No?
Clos la Chance? <Carries on for another 20 minutes>…”

What the Sommelier thinks: “Here’s a crazy notion: Why not try something NEW i.e. a wine you haven’t tried before? But let’s stop fooling ourselves! Why don’t we both come to terms with the fact you’re just looking to try and impress everyone by namedropping Napa into the dinner conversation and showing how “well-travelled you are.”

1 Comment

  • July 8, 2024

    john gera

    This blog post was such an eye-opener! As someone who enjoys dining out and exploring wine, it’s valuable to learn about the perspectives of sommeliers. The insights into what sommeliers dislike hearing—whether it’s misconceptions about wine or certain requests—provide a deeper appreciation for the art and etiquette of wine service.

    I found myself nodding along as I read through the list, realizing how common some of these remarks might be unintentionally. It’s a reminder to approach wine conversations with curiosity and respect for the expertise of those guiding us through the experience.

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