I like this sommelier parody (see the image below), and I forgot about how much I liked it until my boyfriend texted it to me last week along with a cute smiley emoji (spell check, by the way, still doesn’t recognize the word “emoji.”) When I saw this image a couple of years ago I empathized with the bottom right corner – gaining a few irreversible forehead wrinkles as I crinkled and pummeled through those bottomless yellow legal pads.
Respectable, good wine directors and/or sommeliers are busy people, like celebrated chefs and restaurateurs. This means that they don’t have a lot of free easy-breezy time – at times they have a mad wife or boyfriend, a messy apartment, or an expired gym pass (I plead guilty to all of these). Luckily, however, I have a full-proof solution to one of these (as I work on the other 2), and it doesn’t cost money: STAYING SLIM and KEEPING IT FIT ON THE FLOOR. I have narrowed my practices down to 4 small and invisible exercises that one can practice everyday in order to tone and tighten his/her sommelier figure. Here are my rules:
1. As you pour wine suck in your stomach, and clinch your abdominal muscles. If you have a difficult deep banquet to serve, then flex and stretch your core to give yourself a greater wingspan to pour that fluid and seamless stream of vintage Champagne.
2. At AQ (the restaurant where I work as a sommelier) we serve our amuse bouche on medium size, charcoal colored stones (like the ones advertised for sexy hot stone massages but larger and bumpier). These stones are heavy – bonus! As I remove them from the table I use them like dumbbells, secretly moving them up and down with the isolation of my bicep muscles as I carry them back to the dishwasher. Of course, these stones are unique to the restaurant, but most fine dining restaurants will have something that is heavy and expensive that the chef will use to showcase his/her masterpiece. These are your dumbbells; use them wisely.
3. Set a morning aside to unpack and move most of your wine. This exercise can take up to 4 hours – depending on your sales and volume. Yes, interns and cellar rats are easy targets for the dusty work, but you will be missing an opportunity to burn significant calories but bending down, lifting, and moving a box with your core muscles. Again, as you unpack wine and breakdown boxes bend with your knees – this will tone your leg muscles (I’m sure there are multiple fancy names for those).
4. Lastly, walk to work 3 times a week, if you live in an urban area (and most of us do!) Yes, it might take you an hour, but this is a good time to do flashcards, listen to yourself blind taste wine, or catch-up with the latest political podcast....