Tips for the Sommelier by Boston Rising Star Sommelier Joe Camper of Bar Boulud

March 2015

Travel. Remember, wine always tastes better when you know where it’s from, and can picture the soil, the temperature of the environment, and the smell of the local flowers. Also, get to know the people that make the wine, as that connection will only help to further one’s enjoyment of the wine. Wine is experiential, not rote.

Learn the power of lower alcohol wines. It’s not always the big monsters that win lots of points. It’s the smaller, quieter, more introverted wines that make you want to curl up with them. While there are some really great wines with 14% alcohol, at the end of the day, if I have those wines, I can only have one bottle.

Natural wine is not inherently better than conventional wine! There….I said it! Someone had to. However, natural wine is immensely more difficult to make, and therefore requires substantially more work, and I’m a believer that hard work often leads to good results. If I study really hard for an exam, then I should have a better chance of passing than someone that didn’t study much, but we could both pass it. In fact, we could both ace it. On the other hand, we could both fail it!