Have you ever wondered what does a sommelier do for a living?
If you want to become a sommelier, there are some things that you need to know.
In this blog post, we will discuss what a sommelier does and how you can join this exciting field and earn a good living!
What Does a Sommelier Do?
A sommelier has expert knowledge of wine, how it’s made, the history of wine, and the best wine pairings for every type of meal.
A sommelier may coordinate and host exclusive wine tasting events.
A sommelier acts as a guide and advisor, helping customers to choose the best wines for their palates and occasions.
A sommelier will also help manage a wine list for a restaurant, hotel, or shop.
In addition to having extensive knowledge of wine regions and varietals, a sommelier must also have the ability to detect subtle flavor notes and describe them accurately.
They are skilled at pairing wines with foods, recommending the best matches based on taste, texture, and overall flavor profiles.
If they are also good writers they may earn a career with a wine publication.
Read our related article, How Much Does a Master Sommelier Make? Discover income expectations in this complete guide!
A Sommelier May Create a Wine Database
A sommelier, also called a wine steward, is a trained professional who specializes in wines and wine service.
A sommelier often works in a restaurant and is responsible for choosing the wine list, ordering wines, and providing expert advice to diners on food and wine pairings.
Some sommeliers also work in private homes, assisting with wine selection and storage.
In recent years, the role of the sommelier has become increasingly important as the popularity of wine has grown.
As a result, many sommeliers have begun to create comprehensive databases of information on wines from all over the world.
These databases can be used to track trends, select wines for specific events, and even provide guidance for amateur drinkers.
The creation of such databases may be an essential part of the sommelier’s job, and it requires a deep knowledge of both wine and computer science.
A Sommelier Is a Food and Wine Pairing Expert
A sommelier is a professional who has extensive knowledge and training in all aspects of wine, from grape growing to wine production, wine preservation, and beyond.
Whether for a restaurant, hotel, private home, or special event, one of a sommelier’s main roles is to create optimal wine pairings for different occasions and dishes.
Many different considerations go into making a successful pairing, including the typical characteristics of various wines, as well as the flavors, texture, temperature, and other characteristics of specific food choices.
To begin, the sommelier must start by carefully assessing both the wine and the dish that they wish to pair.
This often involves considering factors like acidity level and tannin content to identify which wines will best stand up to the food at hand.
The sommelier must also take into account any unique flavor components that may be present in specific dishes, such as herbs or spices.
For instance, if red wine is being served with a dish that contains chili peppers or curry powder, it may be necessary to find a wine that can match this added heat.
Once the right wines have been identified based on these various elements, it is then up to the sommelier to create an overall balance between flavor, overall weight and mouthfeel.
In other words, a good pairing should not only taste good but also feel harmonious when consumed together.
A Sommelier Oversees Wine Staff
One of the primary roles of a sommelier at a restaurant or hotel is to train and oversee the work of all of the staff who work in the wine cellar.
This job requires a lot of hands-on training, as well as ongoing guidance and support for the staff.
It also requires good interpersonal skills to help staff serve wines and increase wine sales.
The sommelier must prepare the team for everything from opening bottles to pairing wines with meals and making customers happy so they purchase more wine or more expensive bottles.
A good sommelier will help staff to use active listening, phrase recommendations in ways that will appeal to customers, and use positive body language when interacting with guests.
A Sommelier May Organize Wine Tastings and Parties
One way a sommelier helps promote fine wine is by hosting events to share knowledge and passion with others.
This may be for a fine hotel, a vineyard, a community event, a wedding, or a fine restaurant.
Here are a few of the responsibilities that a sommelier will have in coordinating a wine tasting event.
- Plan the wine list
- Order enough wine for the event
- Plan perfect food pairings for each wine selection
- Plan educational content for each wine selection
- Coordinate with restaurant or catering staff for food service
- Create a relaxed atmosphere by interacting with guests, answering questions, and having a fun time with each attendee
A good sommelier can help a wine tasting event sell more wine for a vineyard or hotel.
They also help guests become more interested in the unique characteristics of wine, sparking an eagerness to learn more.
Read More: Difference Between Winery and Vineyard. We discuss the differences and how they relate to wine!
How To Become a Sommelier
Becoming a sommelier is a challenging process, but with dedication and the right training, anyone can achieve their goal of working in this exciting field.
Before you begin your journey, it’s important to have a solid foundation in wine and food pairings as well as a solid understanding of how to taste different flavors and describe them accurately.
The Court of Master Sommeliers is the most well-known certifying body, and the process involves passing a series of exams on topics including wine history, grape varieties, and food pairings.
The first level, the Introductory Sommelier Exam, is open to anyone with an interest in wine.
The next level up, the Certified Sommelier Exam, is more challenging and requires at least two years of experience working in the industry.
To become a Master Sommelier, you must have several years of experience at high-end restaurants and pass a rigorous 3-day examination that covers everything from wine service to blind tasting.
While becoming a certified sommelier takes time and effort, it’s a rewarding way to expand your knowledge and expertise in the world of wine.
Becoming a sommelier can be a rewarding career for those with a passion for food and drink.
But it’s not a job for the faint-hearted – it requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn.