4 min read

Hold🖐🏽 my🐻 liquor🍾

Bitch🤡 I'm🐻 back⬅️ out🚪 my coma😴 Waking😯 up⬆️ on your sofa🛋 When⏲ I🐻 park🏕 my Range Rover🚗 Slightly👌 scratch🔪 your Corolla🚘🤭 Okay🙄, I smashed💪🏾 your Corolla🚘

I'm🐻 hanging🧗‍♂️ on↔️ a hangover🤪 Five🖐🏽 years we👥 been over❎ Ask❓ me🐻 why🤔 I came😳 over One☝🏽 more hit👊🏽 and I🐻 can own🤲 ya One☝🏽 more fuck🍆🍑💦 and I can own ya

One cold🥶 night⛼ in October📅 Pussy😹 had me🐻 floating⬆️ Feel🖐🏽 like👍🏽 Deepak Chopra👨🏾‍⚕️ Pussy😻 had me🐻 dead💀 Might🤔 call🤙🏾 2pac🧑🏿💀 over

Yeezy's⛸🐻 all👐🏽 on↔️ your sofa🛋 These👇🏾 them Red🔴 Octobers📅 Still🖐🏽 ain't👎🏾 learn🧠 me🐻 no🚫 manners🧐 You👩 love❤ me when⏲ I ain't sober🤪 You👩 love💗 me when I'm hungover🤮

Even when⏲ I blow🤮 doja👩🏾😹 Then⏲ her👩🏾😹 auntie👩🏾 came🍆💦 over Skinny💀 bitch🤡 with no shoulders👔 Tellin'📣 you👩 that I'm🐻 bogus Bitch🤡 you don't🚫 even know🧠 us👥

"Baby👶 girl👧, he's🤓 a loner☝🏽 Baby👶 girl👧, he's🤓 a loner☝🏽 Late night🌃 organ🍆 donor🤲 After👉🏾 that he🤓 disown❎ ya👩 After👉🏾 that he's🤓 just hopeless😔 Soul👻 mates🤝 become soulless💀

When⏲ it's over🛑 it's over🛑" And bitch🤡, I'm🐻 back⬅️ out🚪 my coma😴

I know very little about wine, slightly more about the mechanics of tasting, but not evaluating it, but sociologically, anthropologically, I consider it making and appreciation in world history one of the most fascinating aspects of the connection of ancient cultures into the present. The documentary, Somm, tracks the journey of contemporary wine mastery of this ancient craft, which includes mastery of its history, and intimate knowledge of growth of varietals in whichever climates, altitudes, pairings with food, connection with ceremony.

What I love about the profession that this documentary drove home is that being a Master is to know something innately human about places all over the world-- what does the land, when cultivated by its people, produced that is singularly that people's to export from their land, but is recognizable as a delicacy, an amusement, sometrhing to be studied and critiqued, and mastered as production in its own right?

The varying motivations and personalities of the people who become sommeliers is on display here, and you couldn't find a better pairing of Master candidates to make a documentary about, if only because, like the practice itself, it is about what makes one group of people similar, but singularly so ironically, to each other, so it's also not unlike watching an episode of "Jersey Shore" at times, in their interactions, and th efact aht, ultimately, it's a profession made to evaluate and become an expert on indulgence, but one with a long, and expansive human history that, perhaps modernity aside, could be argued to transcend so much.

This documentary is framing all of this in the context of achieving mastery, but curiously, it's almost sidestepping the question of competition; they're depicted as competitive, ambitious people, but almost not even against each other, but as a bonding experience in pursuit of said mastery. It's interesting, not least, for that aspect alone. I had zero interest in wine, at the time, so it was something that struck me in particular about this discipline. Brian, one of the sommeliers, a former college athlete who passed his Advanced exam within a year, was fascinating, in part, for this reason; he ramped up to compete with men who'd spent their lives wanting to do this, so not only is it teachable, but a discipline that responds to effort and, yes, disciplined self-study, and operates in this communalized, appreticeship model. It watches like a modern look into a very old world (since the Neolithic period, as Brian says, from basically one species of vine).

Some of the oldest wines, 7000 and 8000 year old from Iran and Georgia, respectively, with neolithic concoctions resembling what would become recognizable as the fermentation process of wine in millennia since nearing 9000 years old in China, demonstrate this is a very old practice, one connected deeply to culture (often related to ceremony, but also routine refreshment and amusement, often contained in pottery), making it a cultural artifact that lives today through the modern process of this discipline.

The documentary, as I said, shows bureaucratic, yet communal, apparatus for safeguarding who becomes its experts through a rigorous, 3 day examination. Unlike many modern trades, the documentary interviews the peoplke in the lives of these sommeliers– partners, mentors (some who they plan to surpass once they become Masters), their peers, and those at the top of the field feel a deep obligation to take an active role in this process of examination.

No detail left unprepared for--theory (what happens when roots of the plants are exposed to frost?), service practicals (rapidly chilling a bottle of wine), history (what makes a 1998 bottling of one vineyard different from its 1997, but more like a different vinyard a hemisphere away in 1996?). This is what is meant when I describe this discipline as one of understanding the world through the history and process of human production and consumption– it's one staggeringly good example of historical materialism that exists for a human-consumable good. There's a metaphor used early in the film, one of who would make the best samurai sword that I think speaks to the motivation for not only the institution that oversees the credentialing of these professionals, but its rigor in attaining mastery (there's 269 Masters worldwide, but some much larger and common number of Advanced, some of whom mentor and trained those who became Masters without doing so themselves): "Someone who had a teacher, who had a teacher, who had a teacher."