Even the experts screw up sometimes. Here, some of F&W’s 2015 Sommeliers of the Year recount the most embarrassing moments in their professional lives.
Misdiagnosing a Corked Wine
“In 2004 or 2005, when I was first starting out, I remember buying a bottle of Côtes du Rhône and tasting it in the evening and being like, wow this wine is so interesting and so unique and has these flavors and smells that I’ve never tried before. I was so excited about it that I put the cork back into it and decided to hold it for the next day, when I would see my more experienced wine friends, so that they could try it. I thought I had found something so special and so unique. And so I poured it for my friends the next day and was like smell this, taste this, tell me what you think, and they were like, ‘Dude, this wine is totally corked. What are you doing?’ It was the first time I had tasted a corked wine.” —Thomas Pastuszak, The Nomad in New York City
“I poured a red wine on top of someone’s white wine once. That’s really embarrassing because you can’t take the wine out of the glass. It’s like making tableside rosé. Sorry!” —Dana Frank, Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon