Posted by Heather Rutz on Aug 11, 2017
At your service: sommelier gives tour of wine, food & culture.
The amount of information Chris Dillman has crammed into his brain would be helpful for Jeopardy, or Trivial Pursuit. But this education he’s achieved is for a much more enjoyable cause: food and wine.
Dillman, a sommelier at the Refectory in Columbus, spoke to Lima Rotary Club Monday about preparing to become a Master Sommelier. He’s not yet achieved the certification, but he’s not alone. The exam for the certification is considered one of the most difficult on the planet: Only 236 people have ever achieved the diploma.
A sommelier specializes in wine, food and wine pairings, and restaurant service. The knowledge base is deep and vast. Dillman took the group on a ‘tour’ of what he must know, and it includes wines, vintages, wineries, regions, history and culture from every place on the planet that produces wine.
Many people who dabble in wine and pairings as a hobby earn the introductory sommelier certificate. From there, about 20 percent of the people who take the advanced exam pass. And then things get difficult: About five people a year earn the distinction of Master Sommelier.
Dillman has passed two of the three parts of the exam and he’ll try again later this year to pass the third, tasting. The test is weighted on the importance of “calling” the wine correctly. It’s the hardest part, but it’s also the most fun, Dillman said, because in a single glass of wine is grape, geography, history, anthropology, and culture.
“You get a mix of history, story, and a great wine,” Dillman said.
In other Rotary business:
Members can help with a special effort by bringing a canned food item or $1 to the meeting Monday, to make a donation to the West Ohio Food Bank.
Jeff Sprague was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, and Tim Stanford was recognized as a Paul Harris plus one.