Did the Sommelier Society of America Really Just Endorse Cork?
Late last night I was scouring over my twitter feed when I saw a link stating that the 'Sommelier Society of America
Endorses Cork Wine Closures' (thanks @caroline_tj
!). Of course, I read the article and it went on to say that indeed America's 'oldest and foremost professional wine teaching institution' jointly announced the Society has 'endorsed natural cork as the preferred closure for wine.' Yes, that just happened. Click HERE
for the link if you don't believe me. Don't worry, I had to read it twice myself.
Now, I'm not quite sure where to begin with this as such a statement from an organization 'apparently' representative of Sommeliers is not only antiquated, narrow minded, ignorant, ill-informed and outdated but an absolute sell out. So the question must be asked; is this society a true representation of the Sommelier Community in America. I would like to hope it's not.
To endorse a single wine closure is to dismiss all others and in doing so is just ridiculous. I'm sure I don't have to remind you that the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand wine producers have, thankfully, seen the light and embraced screw cap. With the American market as difficult as it is at present, the last thing we need is an association, such as this, publicly saying 'don't buy it'. How 'they' can dismiss vast quantities of high quality world-class wine because it is closed under an alternative seal; I have absolutely no idea.
Now lets have a quick look at the 100% Cork – Approved by Nature
guys. This well backed, and obviously well funded, organization is responsible for such atrocious adverts as First Date
, Smelling the cork
and one of the most insulting and degrading examples of marketing I've ever seen, The Office Party
. So take a few frustrating and kind of comical minutes to watch those adverts and then, again, ask yourself, how the hell can any self respecting sommelier association openly endorse such a company? I can only surmise, for cash. Worth noting the presenter in these adverts, Sommelier Garth 'douchbag' Lockwood, was originally quoted as 'Master Sommelier' though this was thankfully removed due to the fact he wasn't.
Vinography wrote a great post HERE
and be sure to read the comments.
Regardless of your thoughts on what closure is best (and let's not go into that here) it is a matter of opinion and personal preference. It would be like an association only endorsing a single oak cooper, fermentation vessel, yeast, bottle type … whatever.
Over the past twelve months or so, I've had the privilege of meeting and tasting with a number of fantastic, highly knowledgeable and open mined American sommeliers as part of Wine Australia's immersion program. So I ask this question to them; is the Sommelier Society of America
truly representative of the Sommelier trade or is it an antiquated sell out?
Please, please tell us and post your thoughts below.