Master sommelier, alum returns to Sonoma State

Sonoma State University is hosting a special guest for a documentary showing in the Student Center Ballroom. On March 28 at Sonoma State University there will be a special viewing of the film “Somm,” a documentary showing the journey of how Ian Cauble, a Sonoma State University alumnus, became the 197th Master Sommelier in history. 

Cauble will join Food Network star and Executive Chef Eric Lee to select a combination of wine and food to serve at the beginning of the showing. Cauble will also field questions from the audience after the film. The event is open to the public and tickets are priced at $25 per person.

The film, directed by Jason Wise, takes the viewers through four men’s journeys, including Ian Cauble, across six countries over the span of two years, and how they conquered the four intimidating levels of Sommelier exams and earned themselves a rare title. 

The film stars Ian Cauble, Brian McClintic, DLynn Proctor, Dustin Wilson, and Sabato Sagaria. The movie won a few awards as well; it won the Audience Award and Best Documentary at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival. The film’s hook line is, “How much do you think you know about wine? SOMM will make you think again.”

A sommelier is a professional in the field of wine, including the service industry, who has a highly developed ability to pair complimentary wines and foods. There is often a sommelier at fine dining establishments. They are commonly paired up with the executive chef of the restaurant. They are in charge of the rotation of the wine cellar, serving wine to customers, informing customers about the wine, storing the wine, and the procurement of the wine.

To become a Master Sommelier, one must pass the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam, the Certified Sommelier Exam, the Advanced Sommelier Course and Exam, and lastly, the Master Sommelier Diploma exams. Only then do they receive their Master Sommelier diploma and their new, prestigious title. 

This diploma tells employers that the recipient is among the most qualified in the entire industry, that he or she is great at tasting and evaluating wine, and that they have a broad knowledge of wine and serving. There are currently 135 Master Sommeliers in North America; 116 are men and 19 are women.

Cauble has accomplished many things in his short career. He is the co-founder of the website SommSelect, which is scheduled to launch in early 2014 that sells wine to its customers and informs them about current and upcoming deals. 

He has earned a number of awards, including Best Young Sommelier in the World that he earned after an intense eight-hour competition in Greece. Also, Wine and Spirits magazine named him 2008’s Best New Sommelier of the United States of America. 

On Cauble’s profile on American Sommelier, he states that his most memorable experience in the wine service industry was when he was serving a group that built up a $55,000 tab, including six bottles of Petrus, and left half of the wine in each bottle, so he and his fellow sommeliers got to have a very memorable wine tasting. 

Cauble, an International Business major specializing in Wine Business and Spanish, credits his interest in wine to his wine courses at Sonoma State, and the biggest factor was when he went on a wine trip to Chile. 

Cauble is currently employed as the Beverage Director at The Ritz Carlton resort at Half Moon Bay. He has worked at hotels, resorts, and restaurants in many places such as Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Las Vegas and San Francisco.