No day is the same when you're a sommelier. We find out some of the funniest moments on the job from sommeliers...

Looking through the archives of Confessions of a Sommelier from Decanter magazine, we picked out some of the funniest stories…

Funniest moments on the job – Sommelier mistakes

broken glass decanter

Credit: Lucie Lang / Alamy

‘I was once flown to Sardinia for a 50th birthday. One of the host’s presents was a custom-made decanter. I was asked to use it, so took it away and seconds later it was on the floor in a million pieces.

‘No one laughed, but looking back now, I can raise a smile,’ Gal Zohar, speaking to Decanter when wine buyer for the Ottolenghi restaurants.

‘Before I became a sommelier I worked in a bar in Munich. I was trying to open a bottle that had a plastic cork, finally putting it between my knees to get a better grip. But I lost control and most of the wine ended up on my customer’s face,’ said Ali Rasouli Nia, speaking when he was head sommelier at Michael Wignall at The Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel.


SEE ALSO: Worst customer habits in restaurants – from the sommeliers


Entertaining customers

‘On Valentine’s Day, a couple bought the most expensive bottles on our wine list. We naturally assumed they were in love. In reality they were celebrating their separation… Each to their own!’ said Stéphane Morand, sommelier at Le Cercle à Bourges.

sommelier stories

‘We once had a table of financial crooks seated next to a table of investigative policemen. It got very exciting, very rapidly,’ said Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen, speaking when head sommelier at MASH in London. He is now sommelier at Restaurant Anarki in Copenhagen.

Marinela Ivanova, beverage manager on-board The World, Residences at Sea, said, ‘A guest read my name tag and saw the word ‘sommelier’. He thought I came from Somalia!’


SEE ALSO: Nightmare food and wine matches – from the sommeliers


‘I had a very confident customer wanted to impress,’ said Stefano Petta, who was working at Hotel Schweizerhof Bern in Switzerland. ‘He ordered Roero Arneis from Piedmont. I brought the bottle and he started laughing at me: ‘…and why are you serving the red wine in an ice bucket?’

‘He was very embarrassed to discover it was a white wine that he had ordered.’


SEE ALSO: ‘My biggest faux pas’ – from the sommeliers


‘People often forget what their alcohol tolerance is,’ said Wayve Kolevsohn, talking to Decanter while sommelier at The Test Kitchen.

‘Once I served a man who couldn’t remember eating the last half of his tasting menu and demanded the last four courses again.’ She is now head sommelier at Cheval Blanc in the Maldives.

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