Two hours and $32,000 later, the check came. As I got my coat from the coat check I saw the sommelier look at me. No words, no smile, no expression — just looking. What was he thinking? I wondered if he was going home to say to his wife: You'll never believe what this Wall Street clown did at work tonight.
I no longer work on Wall Street and, for the record, I haven't had a drink in six years. But I remember from back in the day that sommeliers see and hear EVERYTHING.
So, I decided to check in with some of the city's sommeliers to find out what kind of dirt they might share. (On the condition of anonymity, of course — Wall Street traders are some of their best clients. They know which side their bread is buttered on!)
A sommelier from a downtown restaurant that is a staple in the Wall Street world said most of his finance clients pick a bottle of wine in the 75th percentile range — they don't want the most expensive bottle but they don't want to look cheap either.
Another sommelier, who works at a midtown restaurant popular with Wall Street traders, said sometimes a guy will come in the day before a dinner to talk.
"It's smart. Nobody wants to look indecisive when ordering in front of their clients," the sommelier said. "There's a big difference between the guy who knows what he's doing and the guy who reads the wine list like a research report."