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Not Feeling the Bitters

Not Feeling the Bitters

Dear Good Somm Bad Somm,

I have finally come to the realization that I don’t actually like Amaro!  They're all way too harsh.  But now I'm paranoid.  Is it OK for a sommelier to NOT like Amaro? 

Sincerely,
Not Feeling the Bitters

GOOD SOMM

Dear Not Feeling the Bitters,

It is certainly no surprise that you may not enjoy Amaro.  The word itself, Amaro, is interpreted from Italian as "Bitter".  Not everyone's favorite!  Amaro is a bitter concoction of macerated herbs, roots, flowers, bark and/or citrus peels in alcohol (either neutral spirits or wine).  The mixture is usually blended with sugar syrup and allowed to age in cask or bottle.

Amaro is principally used for their digestive qualities either before or after a meal (apertivo/digestive). There are many Amaro crazed mixologists and sommeliers out there and Amaros can be truly delicious; but in many cases can certainly be an acquired taste for people who don't truly love wine and spirits.

Classically it is consumed straight, but sometimes with ice and quite often found mixed into cocktails.

While it is part of the thriving cocktail scene and captivates the taste buds of many sommeliers, it does not mean you have to like it!  So what? You’re not a member of the Amaro Club? 

The world of beverage is wide and undiscovered and you are perfectly allowed to have your own set of likes and dislikes.

Sincerely,
Good Somm

BAD SOMM

Dear Not Feeling the Bitters,

There tends to be a "pack mentality" amongst Sommeliers and you need to be part of the herd lest you be left for the vultures.  So for your own good:   Don't ever admit that you do not like Amaro. 

There are only a few rules to this Sommelier job.  One of them is:  you have to like Amaro.  And, to expand on that, there is a long list of sometimes-unpleasant things that you need to, at least pretend, you like. 

The list includes, but is not limited to the following:  Amaro, Orange Wine, Natural Wine, Cigars, Craft Beer, Meade, Molecular Gastronomy, Pursuit of Balance, the movie SOMM, the show Chef's Table, Chefs in general, Waiters, and (in many cases) other Sommeliers. 

Yours Truly,
Bad Somm

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