The Path To Becoming A Sommelier

If you have ever wanted a snazzy job at a restaurant and enjoy talking about wine, you might want to be a sommelier. You might think that the person who oversees your selection at a fancy restaurant is a waiter, when, in fact, he is someone who has devoted a considerable portion of time to knowing as much as he or she can about wine. Being a sommelier is not an easy task, this involves understanding both people and wine. It involves discerning whether a person will favor a certain vintage over another based on his or her preference.

Choosing a Career
Choosing a Career

The Matchmaker

They do not read to you the entire contents of the wine list with a dead look in their eyes, as many of the waiters may do on a busy night. Sommeliers are so much more subtle. They start by asking you what you have ordered and offer you a few suggestions based on your preferences.

You might say that a sommelier’s job is that of a matchmaker. He or she understands people and their preferences. Once he or she has done that, he suggests a certain vintage that he or she feels the customer will enjoy, to sate his or her palate and compliment the meal as well.

What Happens Backstage

The sommelier job description is so much more complex. Please note that he or she does not just come in when the establishment opens, to take wine orders. He or she has other duties to take care of. The sommelier works with the restaurant owner and chefs to create a wine list that does the food justice. He or she also deals with wine suppliers and makes certain that the establishment’s wine cellar is stocked well. In addition, a sommelier has to work with the budget that the management has allotted for the wines. Thus, he or she must learn to find reasonably-priced wines, as well as expensive ones.

Becoming A Wine Connoisseur

The path to becoming a sommelier does not involve gulping down every known vintage and remembering what they taste like. He or she has to know how to serve the wine, know what glasses to use for each one, and he or she must also know the proper temperature to store and serve each kind of wine. Thus, to become one, a person has to understand wine and possess a passion for it.

To start, anyone with a passion for wine can become a sommelier. However, in order to gain employment, one has to take certification or competency examinations which reputable professional organizations administer. To prepare for these exams, a sommelier will require wine courses and a great deal of self-education. Please note that the organizations charge fees for each exam.

Becoming a sommelier takes a good deal of time, as when it comes to wine, you have to analyze appearance, taste and smell. One must also learn what food goes well with each type of wine. As a job, it can be highly demanding. However, if you understand both wine and people, you can enjoy a fruitful career with the right training.