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What is a Sommelier?

Ever wondered what a sommelier is exactly? Find out the answer below.

There is always more to wine than just the grapes, flavor and powdered tannin. This article is about who is a sommelier and what do they do in their profession.

Definition of a Sommelier?

There are various types of sommeliers and to name a few are water sommelier, beer sommelier and more. But most importantly, a Sommelier, also known as, wine steward is someone who is a trained expert on Wine. A sommelier works in fine restaurants who specializes in wine service as well as wine and food pairing.

A sommelier should have the detailed information about wine including such as the types of grapes used to make a particular wine, in what region the grapes were grown, the vineyards where the grapes were grown, a wine's rating, and the vintages of various wines and more.

What's the difference between a vintner and a sommelier?

A vintner, also known as a wine merchant, is the person who sells wine. A sommelier, or wine steward, is a wine expert who helps in pairing wine with the appropriate choice of food items.

Skills and qualities needed to be a sommelier

  • Ability to create tasteful food and wine pairings.
  • Extensive knowledge of different wines and which regions produce each type.
  • Knowledge of local vineyards and wineries.
  • Understanding of the wine-making process.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ensure wines are served at the right temperature and within the proper glassware.
  • Store open bottles properly to maintain strong taste

Education

No degree is required to become a sommelier, but it is essential to have certain culinary arts certifications or an associate’s degree that help in career advancement. However, these professionals should have a sensitive palate, business knowledge, people skills, and sales ability.

Professional pathway

High end restaurants are always looking for sommeliers. They want to cater their customers with the best of wine and food pairings. It is essential for any food and beverage industry to have a certified sommelier that helps in the proper functioning of the property.

Individual winemakers often employ a sommelier to provide in-house expertise in support of the winemaker's efforts. Tours and tastings are a significant money-maker for many wineries, and having a trained sommelier to oversee the tastings can increase the resulting sales.

Like many other aspects of a culinary education, it's difficult to learn about wine from books. Instructions from a qualified sommelier is also a route to meaningful certification in the field; or, to put it another way, it takes a sommelier to make a sommelier.