• Etymons

    Sommelier

    I happened to see a post at one of the wine blogs I follow regarding the derivation of the word sommelier. But while the post is accurate, mostly, as far as it goes, it doesn’t to my mind go nearly far enough. First, a bare bones definition of sommelier: A restaurant employee who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restaurant and usually has extensive knowledge about wine and food pairings (AHD). You’ll sometimes see a sommelier defined as a wine steward, though technically there’s a fair bit of expertise that’s well beyond that of a steward. Now, for the etymology. Sommelier is a word English borrowed from French;…