Category: Food

What is a Sommelier?

Sommelier pic


As a fluent English- and Spanish-speaking health care professional in Southern California, Manuel Marquez, MD, has served in a variety of settings, including clinical research coordinator at PMK Medical Group. Outside his professional life, Manuel Marquez, MD, is a wine connoisseur.

When dining at a fine restaurant, you may notice that a member of the staff apart from your server may come to offer you a selection of the available wines. This person is called a sommelier, and his or her job is to be an authority not only on the wines themselves, but also on how each one complements the meal.

A sommelier will be knowledgeable about the vintage and type of grape used in a particular wine, its region of origin, as well as its overall rating. By devoting oneself to this rigorous study, the sommelier is able to help patrons determine the best wines to pair with their dishes – knowledge that goes beyond the simple, “red wine with steak, white wine with fish” tropes.

So the next time you are in a fancy restaurant and the sommelier offers his or her guidance in picking out the perfect wine to pair with your meal, give it a try!

Two Wine Myths Debunked

Wine Myths pic

Wine Myths

Manuel Marquez, MD, has over 25 years of medical industry experience as a family practitioner, medical executive, and researcher. Outside his professional life, Manuel Marquez, M.D. enjoys a wide variety of leisure pursuits, including as an avid wine enthusiast.

There are almost as many opinions about wine as there are wine connoisseurs. With that said, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are many misconceptions about the age-old beverage. Here are two myths about wine that have been debunked by sommeliers.

Some hold to the notion that the bigger the price tag, the better the wine. This can be true, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. There are many factors that determine the price of a wine, such as if it is sold by a well-known vineyard or if it has been endorsed by a celebrity – neither of which have any real impact on the quality of what’s inside the bottle. Conversely, some wines from lesser known vineyards (often imported vintages) can offer a great deal of quality for the value. An Argentine Malbec, for instance, is a $10 red wine that delivers quality far beyond the price tag.

Another area of common misinformation is the best serving temperature of wines. One belief is that the best way to serve white wine is ice cold. This goes hand in hand with the misguided idea that red wine is best enjoyed only at room temperature. In truth, no wine should be served ice cold. Conversely, no wine should be served at room temperature. The ideal temperature for white wine is approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In the same vein, it’s perfectly fine to refrigerate red wine, as it will age much faster at room temperature, which may severely affect its taste.