Tastemaker

The thing that people don’t understand about being a sommelier is that it isn’t simply about wine. It is about ‘pairing’. I’m not here to give you a choice based purely on taste alone, I spend hours with the chef understanding the complex flavours and then make combinations. It takes skill, passion, desire and most importantly, finesse. Seasons change things, moods change things, the temperature of the fridge changes things. This same notion about ‘pairing’ I take into my everyday life. It is an instinct, a compassion that I have for harmony. Vanity to me is simply about making a choice between looking and feeling at my absolute best or not and I always answer yes to that question. Who doesn’t like to wear a vest, shorts and a gown whilst lounging around in your house on a leisurely afternoon? If it makes you feel good then do it. I’ll be the only judge of me

There is something about my job that makes me strive to always look my best, something about being a sommelier that requires it. I’m competing with bottles of intense satisfaction after-all so for me to make this a career I must stand out, I must be visible. That, my friends, takes time. My being is a citadel of beauty, I am a dignified choice. My pairing requires research, history and substance. My outfit, my clothing, my possessions are all pairings and all go through the same levels of scrutiny as my wine choices. I shall not and will not ever be rushed into making a decision about anything, and definitely not that blazer or those shoes. I’ll take my time and I’ll ensure the match is exquisite, because that is the base minimum I can ever accept. I appreciate that this is a step beyond most people’s version of normality. I enjoy it, I really love the art I develop in looking after myself. For me – there is something experiential about it that I can’t get anywhere else. Nobody can help me with it because it is mine. My look, my feel, my choice. Like many other things, I’m an expert in me.

I’m hosting a tent at the county cricket match in a few weeks where i’ll be doing cocktail tasting. None of that Pimms’ stuff, we’ll be going on a tour of drinks. Yes there will be wine, yes there will be gin, but there will also be me: sommelier extraordinaire and cocktail maker. There are a lot of people that like to actually play cricket. I get a lot more out of just watching. Likewise, I’ve never been one to gamble at the races or drink a pint at the Rugby. For me it is all about getting dressed for said occasions and ensuring that people can see I’ve made the effort. Yes, I’m not built to play sports but hell yes I’m built to watch them, in style.  

The world is slowly catching up with me. This isn’t vanity, this is self-care. This isn’t extravagance, this is style. This is most definitely not unique, this is achievable. If you give it the time, if you learn the art of looking good. You see, it’s me that sits in front of the light up mirror and ensures my skin is unblemished. It’s me who decides between multiple smells for that day. It’s me that has sunglasses in many colours. It’s me that has a travel manicure set and it’s me that understands life is important enough to be your best during all of it. Life is important enough to always wear your Sunday best, to go that extra step. When I leave the house I feel pride, I’m happy with myself and ready to excel. Now, that is what I call knocking it out for 6!

Main image credit: ismael Traore (Unsplash)

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The Good Sole

Curated for the curious.