Deep in the Heart of Texsom
Dear Good Somm Bad Somm,
I'm at the annual "Texsom" convention this week in Dallas, TX. After yesterday's slate of events I went to Pappas Brother's Steak House where it's common for many Somms to hang-out afterwards and show-off for one another by purchasing big, Trophy Wines from the famously deep list. I unfortunately can't afford Trophy Wine. Embarrassingly I could only afford a $60 bottle of off-vintage Right Bank Bordeaux.
However, I quickly pulled an empty bottle of '85 Ducru-Beaucaillou from the vacant table beside me after they paid their check and placed the empty Ducru bottle on my table beside my decanter of budget wine in order to appear more "Baller".
But, when one of the Master Somms walked by my table to say hello, he poured himself a taste from my decanter and could immediately tell that what was in his glass was NOT '85 Ducru! It was very awkward. Now, I'm paranoid that someone may have seen me make the switch and that I'll be exposed as a fraud and be blacklisted by the Court of Masters! Should I come clean with the particular MS or simply hope the incident is forgotten?
Not Ballin' at Texsom
Dear Not Ballin'
The truth will set you free! It may only be a matter of time before someone at your table or someone in the dining room starts to gossip about what you did, so you need to get in front of the situation quickly and as gracefully as possible. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. In fact, it may be written in the "Code of Ethics" for the Court so you must immediately go to the particular MS and explain the situation.
Also: Your $60 bottle was just perfect and you shouldn't be ashamed of a wine you've selected or by your budget. Many young Sommeliers can't afford to drink "Baller" wine. That's part of the fun of a list like Pappas Brothers: it is peppered with little gems.
Texsom is an awesome event, but it is an expensive event (and Papas Brothers isn't cheap either), so be thankful you're in attendance, learn and don't compare yourself to others. You'll get there one day!
Dear Not Ballin'
You're done-for with the Court of Masters, cowboy! It's your last Rodeo. Start looking into WSET immediately.