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What Is a Sommelier Any Way?
If you frequent enough upscale restaurants, chances are that somewhere in the ebb and flow of dinner service you’ll find a lady or gentleman breezing around the dining room reverently presenting bottles of wine or opening them with a touch of theatric flair.


If you frequent enough upscale restaurants, chances are that somewhere in the ebb and flow of dinner service you’ll find a lady or gentleman breezing around the dining room reverently presenting bottles of wine or opening them with a touch of theatric flair.  For years many folks imagined the sommelier as a snobby old guy with a silver cup around his neck dismissing or consenting to the quality of wine in some arcane ritual. But much has changed over the years.

It’s true the original sommeliers were typically aristocratic butlers supplying various goods to the king or noble class. This role evolved after the French Revolution changed formal meals as most of the aristocracy was eliminated in the country.  Prepared meals became more public and it took restaurants nearly a century to restore what we would now define as fine dining.  These prototypical sommeliers burnished the reputations of Chefs by helping source rare wines and spirits from far away places and standardized a code of service that is followed to this day. What’s more the sommelier became a savant of flavor, and could rattle off the quality of vintages, producers and classic dishes many centuries before the likes of Yelp or Google.

What’s exciting about The Bridges wine program is our members have the opportunity to learn about every aspect of this domain in a gradual and fun manner with a suite of programs.  Our Thursday Wine Tastings often focus on a specific region or winery. They also include fun blind tasting competitions. You’re welcome to order some for your home at a great price.  We also host monthly wine classes focusing on everything from investment grade fine wine to comparisons of your favorite varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Together we can develop your palate and discover up and coming regions, trends or savor some of the best wines in the world.  If you’re in need of last-minute gifts, wines for a party or want to host a lovely meal paired with wine that’s something we do too.

So, if you want to explore new wineries and experience exciting culinary destinations or simply taste something new, reach out to our Sommelier, Mark Valin, and he can help you navigate the endless sea of wine.  Find your bearing with a curated experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

18550 Seven Bridges Road. Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091 (858) 759-7200
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