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The First Sommelier Pope

I don't know about you, but I get spam all the time telling me that my MBA, PHD, or other advanced degree is just a click of the mouse (and $99.95) away. I've never understood the idea of an honorary degree either, except for those folks like Einstein who are clearly such geniuses that they'd never get anything out of a university where they're smarter than all the professors. Sure, you might as well give them a PhD. But for the normal world, the conferring of honorary degrees has always seemed a bit like institutional ass-kissing to me. Or should that be ring-kissing?

Which brings me to the Pope, who, in addition to being Benedict the Sixteenth is apparently now a Sommelier in the Italian Sommelier Association. Yes, that's right, in addition to kissing his ring, you now also have the option of kissing his corkscrew. Which sounds naughty even just writing about it.

Apparently this honor was conferred on the spiritual leader of the Catholic world after he described himself as the "humble servant in the vineyard of the Lord" and attended a ceremony for the aforementioned society of sommeliers.

So now that he's a sommelier, does that mean the communion wine is going to get better? And I wonder how long the wait list is at the Vatican restaurant now that there's the opportunity to have the man himself bring up some goodies from the cellar, which I'm sure has been well stocked for centuries.

Regardless, I'm sure there are wine professionals all over the world sighing in relief. There might actually be a chance for redemption after all that wine drinking after all.

That's what I'm praying for, anyway.


What's that he's holding? A Chateauneuf-du-Pape of course!

Read the full story.

Comments (11)

Chis Klein wrote:
09.22.06 at 11:39 PM

Honorary degrees are a great way to respect those who have contributed to our world. "Institutional ass-kissing" seems a bit trite. Are you upset that your blog will never get you such honors?

Elle wrote:
09.23.06 at 5:53 AM

I agree that the honorary degree bs is out of control. I'm curious as to when this ridiculous tradition started. Being bestowed with an honorary PhD is akin to getting 100% on an exam by cheating. Don't they know it's not the same? No big sentiments on this really but yes, I find it strange. More than strange, just silly. And for the record I only hold a Bachelors and this was hardly worth the annoyance.

Brian wrote:
09.23.06 at 8:03 AM

Dude, this was some funny stuff. Maybe they should offer you a choice of red or white wine at the communion? Maybe even name the wine "Pope's Reserve," or something to that effect...

Wayne wrote:
09.23.06 at 8:33 AM

This could make for some interesting brands. Chateauneuf du Pope - Chateau Benedict - Popotage - Masin Amarone - Villa da Scripture (blended with real holy water, and for a limited time comes with an official Vatican host)

Alder wrote:
09.23.06 at 9:02 AM

Chris, I hope you're not serious... Mostly I'm upset that my blog will never make me $1 Million dollars. Once I'm done being upset with that I might have time to consider all the other trite things to be grumpy about.

Does anyone ever WANT an honorary degree? I mean, really. Who goes around hoping that they'll get one?

Anonymous wrote:
09.23.06 at 12:30 PM

A few years back, Bill Cosby refused to speak at Haverford College unless it gave him an honorary degere.

Joanna wrote:
09.25.06 at 2:16 AM

Wayne, Chateauneuf -du-Pape is ALREADY called Chateauneuf-du-Pope, actually.

Natester wrote:
09.27.06 at 11:39 AM

Alder - hit the Photoshop sessions a little harder for more dramatic impact!

Alder wrote:
09.27.06 at 12:31 PM


Sigh. There's a reason that I'm the owner of a design firm and not a designer. Other people are a lot better than I at Photoshop. The problem is, none of them want to get calls from me at 11:00 PM asking if they can put a bottle of Chateau Rayas in the outstretched hand of the Pope.

So you get what I can crank out in 15 minutes. Sorry.

I like to think it has semi-kitsch value.

Anyhow, should I read your critique as volunteering to be Vinography's resident spoof-graphic artist?

Adam wrote:
03.26.07 at 10:31 PM

Thats got to be the funniest thing Ive ever seen!

Jess wrote:
07.17.10 at 10:03 AM

Ha ha ha! This is the first time I have read your blog, and will now continue to do so.

I'm sure the pope has no idea about wine. I agree that giving out degrees is ridiculous. Nelson Mandela, although a brilliant man, has amassed more than 10 PhDs. Kind of makes them look meaningless.

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