Somm is a new wine film, directed by Jason Wise is hoped to première on the East Coast. The film charts the progress of 4 young sommeliers: Brian McClintic, Dustin Wilson, Ian Cauble and D'Lynn Proctor who are attempting to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam. This is a qualification with one of the lowest pass rates in the world, with less than 200 people achieving a pass. Wise has submitted the film to the Tribeca and Edinburgh film festivals.
The trailer for the film has had over 15,000 unique page views within the first two days and Wise is optimistic about the film's success.
Access to the Court Of Master Sommeliers has always been strictly regulated and cameras have never been allowed anywhere near the exam . . . until now. According to Decanter.com the film also features interviews with some major wine producers, including Andrea Cecci of Tuscany, Hano Zillikenof Saar in Germany, Paul Graf von Schönborn of Schloss Schönborn, Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, and Wilhelm Haag of Fritz Haag in the Mosel. The film took two years to film and spanned 6 countries in location.
“Described variously as ‘the new rockstars’, ‘prophets’, ‘egomaniacs’, and ‘sickly gifted’, the four Americans go through ‘thousands and thousands of hours’ of wine tasting, wine theory and practice.
In scenes reminiscent of The Apprentice and dozens of other reality TV shows, Somm – as sommeliers are sometimes called in the US – shows them in the depths of despair, as well as approaching what they concede is a ‘brutal’ ordeal with masochistic relish.”
Geoff Kruth, chief operating officer of the Guild of Sommeliers told Decanter that:
“Somm highlights not only their extreme level of commitment but the all-encompassing effect it has on their lives.”
In the UK, Master Sommeliers contacted by Decanter were positive about a film which may lay to rest some misconceptions about their profession Ronan Sayburn MS, wine director at Hotel du Vin, said:
“Demystifying wine is good for the industry as a whole” – although he firmly denied any pretensions to star status: “Maybe I feel like a rock star for about ten minutes when I’m decanting a bottle of Latour, but not at two am when I’m polishing glasses. In the Court of Master Sommeliers, we try to teach humility.”
You can watch the trailer here.