BSS member assesses color of wine during weekly blind tasting sessionToo often wine gets a bad rep as snooty, stuffy or just plain elusive. But since Day One, Pour Favor has been promoting the importance of having fun with wine. It is something to be understood only in so much as such appreciation allows for heightened enjoyment. Those on the professional side of the industry who take this idea to heart are those we should all be seeking out. Enter the Boston Sommelier Society (BSS). Many of the fifty or so folks who now comprise the BSS are professionals in the trade - but the only official “pre-requisites” for joining their ranks are pure, unadulterated passion for wine and a desire to learn more about it. According to Vice Chair, Kate Webber, BSS’ goal is to “expand the knowledge and reputation of the wine industry in the Boston area. We are primarily an educational organization, which is to say we focus on learning, both from outside entities as well as from each other.” So, how are they doing it?

Amazingly, these talented, passionate, respect-worthy folks started out only two years ago as a small, informal, but organized group called the Boston Tasting Group. They met regularly to practice blind tasting in order to gain the experience and support necessary to take different wine exams, including the Court Masters Sommeliers, the Wine & Education Spirits Education Trust and the International Sommelier Guild. Soon enough, word got out. Their initial group of seven grew. And, as Webber says, “with larger numbers came larger ideas; we realized we were something larger than a Tasting Group.”

Their membership base hails from all sides of the trade (e.g. restaurants, retail shops, importers, wholesalers, oenology educators, collectors and consultants), “offering a diversity and perspective that’s quite simply hard to come by,” admits Michael Meagher, the group’s Chair. Today the BSS is eager to access and create other opportunities and engage the public, from conferences to classes to lectures – and even one day host a regional, amateur competition for other aficionados.

On July 15 the Boston Sommelier Society will be hosting its first public soiree at OM Restaurant in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Meagher tells me BSS has designed this event “as an opportunity for folks curious about the trade or who just love wine to meet new contacts in a variety of roles in the industry. It’s a terrific opportunity for people to discover the great personalities around town who are energetic and enthusiastic about wine, who take their job seriously – but have fun with it!”

No doubt, this group is unique to the area – so much so sponsors are clamoring to support the OM event. They are excited about the Boston Sommelier Society’s “tremendous potential to serve as a caveat for wine accessibility”. And so with sponsorship already secured from the movers and shakers at Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville, KoBrand, Martignetti, Vineyard Road and Gibbet Hill (Groton, MA), tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

Jump over to EventBrite now to secure your ticket for this unique event! This is your chance to grab a glass of bubbly, nibble on some hors d'oeuvres and meet the enthusiastic – highly entertaining – crew who comprise the BSS. As Meagher says, “wine is cause for celebration, not stratification. Just grab a glass!” Meet him and his fellow wine comrades on the 15th and learn just how much they mean it.