A Documentary About Four Wine Geeks Being Judged By Even Snobbier Wine Geeks
SOMM is a documentary film about wine obsession pushed to its terrifying endpoint. It follows four sommeliers over two years as they prepare for and attempt to pass the Master Sommeliers examination administered by the, we shit you not, Court of Master Sommeliers. Just how hard does a test have to be before it's worth making a feature length movie about four guys trying to pass it?
Beyond brutal. The Master Sommelier exam "boasts" a pass rate of around 10 percent. Since it was established in 1977 only 197 people, living or dead, have ever managed to pass it. At this moment there are only 129 people on the entire planet that have this qualification. One of the taglines from the trailers seems utterly appropriate: The hardest exam you've never heard of.
The invitation only exam itself costs $900, but it can only be attempted after you have completed three prior levels of examinations and training which cost a total of $1845. This final exam consists of three portions. An oral exam were master sommeliers grill you on the wine theory, a practical exam where you must demonstrate an ability to sling wine with the best of them, and a six wine blind taste test. In that blind taste test you have 25 minutes in which to: "Identify, where appropriate, grape varieties, country of origin, district and appellation of origin, and vintages of the wines tasted."
Here is the initial "teaser" trailer which actually goes into greater depth concerning the wine exam birthed from the frigid bowels of hell.
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