The secret language of sommeliers FEB 19 2013
For the NY Times, Ben Schott compiles an extensive list of wine-related jargon.
WHALE . PLAYER . BALLER . DEEP OCEAN
A serious drinker who will regularly DROP more than $1,000 on a single bottle. When on a furious spending spree, a WHALE is said to be DROPPING THE HAMMER. BIG WALES -- or EXTRA BIG BALLERS (E.B.B.) -- can spend more than $100,000 on wine during a meal.
Schott expanded on this list in a companion blog post:
But, vocabulary aside, the central thing I learned from these talented people is that if you are dining in a restaurant which employs a Sommelier, you should never, ever order your own wine.
If you know little or nothing about wine, they will guide you to a bottle far more interesting and suited to your food than you could possibly pluck from the list.
And if you are a wine aficionado, you will not know more than the Somm about their list - or what they are hiding off-list in the cellar.
See also What Restaurants Know (About You)