Master of the Corks

Good evening. I’m Sonji Artemis. It’s an odd day when I can get away from my work to attend something like this. See the prime dinner hours are when I usually have to work. That right, almost every night from 4:30-9:00 I’m at the restaurant selecting the perfect wine for the finest meals in all of Yellow Knife.

Born and raised in Yellow Knife. I didn’t even leave for my sommelier training.

Who trained me? Here in Yellow Knife? No one of course. That’s what makes me so special as a sommelier. I’m self trained. I like to think of it as a gift from god, but a lot of the young kids call it a mutant super power. It all started when I was about 7. I had this bad habit of laving half finished juice boxes in weird locations. under my bed; way in the back of the sock drawer; the small storm drain by the school bus stop.

No. I don’t know why I did it. My therapist, that’s Tom Coogle – the guy at the hardware store with the big ears, tells me I do know but I am withholding my feelings by not stating why I do it. But then again, he’s a self trained therapist. His real skills are in cutting keys and sorting nuts and bolts.

Yes. I know I’m self trained too. It’s different for a therapist and a sommelier. Selecting the perfect wine for an occasion is an art, by therapy is a science. I mean if Ted and Gina are having marital troubles you can’t just suggest that they try baking cookies together to save their marriage. You’ve got to give Ted and Gina something concrete. Otherwise they are going to divorce and take up two of the limited number of homes here in good ol’ Yellow Knife instead of one. If I could only get them to come into the diner.

Isn’t it obvious? I’d select the perfect wine for them. Them. THEM. Wines are a bit magical in that regard. They heal. They unite. They make us all realize that we are better off as a people drinking wines together. Beer, our national beverage, is the polar opposite.

No. Polar wasn’t used as a joke. At least intentionally. Getting back to beer. You show me a depressed tar sands pipe fitter and I’ll show you a metric ton of Labatt’s Blue empties under his bed. Beer drives people apart. Wine brings them together. Yes that’s what I need to do. I’m going to find the perfect wine to get Ted and Gina back on the trail to life long bliss.

…Physicality

Sonji Artimis is a tall snooty white male. He speaks with a strong Canadian accent. Sonji holds his head high and literally looks down his nose as he speaks to you. His body language is very reserved and stoic. He doesn’t hold his hands in a relaxed way, he holds them in formal way that is almost exhausting to watch. You may find yourself focusing on his hands as you talk to him. You try to anticipate when they will move, but alas, they never do.

…Quirks

Sonji likes to say, “It’s an art.” Anything that he can say this about is a good thing. It’s nemesis is, “That’s a science.” Anything that he says that about is the enemy and he holds it in disdain.

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