What to Buy Your Master Sommelier for Christmas!

If you’re like me, right about now you’re wondering what to buy for the Master Sommelier in your life for Christmas. There are 230 Master Sommeliers in the world. Though it’s possible the one in the Philippines was shot by the President. Oh, yes, it’s true. You always Duterte the one you love. One down, 229 to go. Those 207 men, and 23 of these other kind of people, not sure what they are really, but they smell good—how did they get their pins again?—can be difficult to buy gifts for. They’re picky by nature. For example, most of them will only put their nose in a fine Burgundy, a Grower Champagne and Fred Dame.

In what I thought was a lovely gesture, I was recently serenaded at home one evening by a group of Master Sommelier carolers! Oh, those bastards know harmony. I hadn’t been aware that the Court has its own special Christmas Carols! Here are the lyrics to one of the carols with which they regaled me:

You better watch out
You better not cry
You’re gonna get gout
I’m telling you why
Santa Flaws is comin’ to town.

He’s making a list
Of wines that he’s horked
Gonna find out
What’s bretty or corked
Santa Flaws is comin’ to town.

He sees you when you’re drinking
He knows when you’re half-lit
He’ll tell you what wine’s bad or good
Cuz for sure you don’t know shit.


You better watch out
It could make you sick
You’d be an MS
If you just had a dick.
Santa Flaws is comin’ to town!!!

Boy, that brings back memories, doesn’t it? But I digress.

It can be intimidating trying to decide what to get for the Master Sommelier in your life, and we all have one of those, especially if you don’t know much about wine. I have some suggestions.

Among the hottest gifts for MSs this Christmas are the collectible Wine Writer Bobbleheads! While the name may seem redundant on the face of it, Wine Writer Bobbleheads are all the rage. Yes, the really popular ones like James Laube (whose head not only bobbles, but he falls down a lot, too!) will set you back a pretty penny, but some of the less popular ones can be quite afford-able. Look for the Neal Martin Bobblehead. Much like the man himself, they are usually dis-counted. Once you get your MS started on collecting Wine Writer Bobbleheads, he won’t want to quit until he has them all! There’s the wonderful Robert Parker Bobblehead. Open him up like a Russian nesting doll and inside there’s a little Antonio Galloni Bobblehead! And inside the Galloni nestles a little tiny Steve Tanzer! How many are there? Is that a life-size Jon Bonné? By the end, you’ll wonder how many critics any of us can swallow. My favorite? The Madeline Puckette Bobblehead! Oh, sorry, wait, that’s just Madeline Puckette.

Books always make thoughtful gifts. There are some new titles available that will make every MS on your list happy. Rudy Kurniawan has a new book out entitled, “Yeah, They’re Hard to Fool.” Get it personalized! Costs you nothing but an empty bottle of Screaming Eagle. The cof-fee table book of the year, and a perfect companion to Rudy’s book, is “The Big Book of Unicorn Wines.” In this lavishly illustrated book, the photos culled from the Instagram feeds of famous Master Sommeliers, are the rarest and greatest wines on Earth. The descriptions and scores from the MSs who drank them accompany the photos, and, best of all, you can turn the page and on the back Rudy Kurniawan (again!) relates what wines are actually in those unicorn bot-tles. I was struck by how often Guigal Côtes du Rhône with a smidge of Liquid Smoke™ was mistaken for ’52 Chave Hermitage, or one of Guigal’s own La-Las, especially by one of those know-it-all young Turques.

You can always shop at the online Court of Master Sommeliers gift store for the perfect holiday treat for your special little someone wearing that cute little lapel pin. Fair warning, though, you just might end up spending hours perusing all the wonderful items and souvenirs there. The entire collection of Evan Goldstein Pajamas for Men™ is there. Most have feet! Oh, and look at the cute ones with the wine barrel on your bottom! Is that your bunghole, or are you just happy to see me? I’m thinking about buying the personalized Doug Frost Coravin for myself! It’s not only stylish, but you can bet that it will never run out of neutral gas. And every Master Sommelier I know covets the handcrafted and individual tastevin engraved with a picture of the very Master Sommelier who owns it! Pour just an ounce of that ’45 La Tâche into your tastevin and gaze at it admiringly. While you’re at it, check out the Burgundy, too! And for that rare female Master Sommelier, well, how about some nice candy?

I know, I hear you asking, “What if I want to buy wine for my favorite Master Sommelier?” Don’t be an ignoramus. What wines could you possibly buy a Master Sommelier? You don’t know enough about wine to buy them something really cool from Sicily, or the Canary Islands, or the  Jura. And any wine you buy from your local market, those wines sold by big distributors and wine conglomerates? Hell, who do you think those MSs work for, idiot? They have tons of those wines in their “samples” at home. Besides, have you ever listened to an MS speak? You don’t think they actually like wine, do you? Do oncologists like cancer? There you go.

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