My friends went to dinner the other night and ordered the ’99 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the sommelier. The sommelier then presented a bottle of ’00 without noting the difference in vintage.
“What’s the difference between the ’99 and ’00?” asked my friend.
“365 days,” said the sommelier.
Perhaps he was trying to be funny, but this is the kind of flippant answer that gives sommeliers a bad name. Sure, sometimes items sell out and the wine list hasn’t been perfectly updated – but that’s no excuse. The sommelier should have noted the change in vintage and explained the difference, instead of hoping the customer wouldn’t notice or mind.
It’s a shame, since there are so many passionate, hard-working sommeliers now in America. If you have had a good experience with one, let me know. And if not – let me know as well.