What Is A Wine Sommelier? | How to Become One

If you have a passion for wine and want to discover new ones to try, ask a sommelier. A sommelier is a wine professional that has undergone formal training in all aspects of winemaking, wine storage, food and wine pairing, and wine services. You can usually find a sommelier in a fine dining establishment. Most sommeliers work alongside chefs to create new dishes that they can complement with wines. 

In this article, you will learn the differences between a wine connoisseur and a sommelier. We have also included some guidelines on how to become a sommelier.

Wine Sommelier versus Wine Connoisseur

Wine connoisseurs are people who are passionate about wine. They enjoy learning all aspects of wine and tasting all of them. These wine-loving individuals know how to pick the ideal wine for a particular occasion. In other words, they are amateur expert judges of wine. 

Wine sommeliers are individuals who have extensive knowledge about wine. They can assess any young wine and perceive their potential in aging. Additionally, they also undergo special classes with certifications, unlike wine connoisseurs.

How to Become a Wine Sommelier?

If you have a sense of taste in wineries, pursuing a career like a wine sommelier is a great choice. As a matter of fact, your obsession with wine is a massive advantage since it takes an enormous amount of dedication to become a successful sommelier.  

Aside from education, you also need to learn the art of being charming and at the same time, humble. As a sommelier, your priority is to serve your customers and guide them in choosing the perfect wine.

Here are some few tips on how to become a successful wine sommelier:

  1. Increase your general knowledge of wines.

Before starting your wine program, you must take time to expand your knowledge about wine. This part of your sommelier journey is exciting since you will learn skills that will help you in your career.

You can start by learning how to taste wine like an expert, how to pour wine correctly, and how to take thorough tasting notes.

  1. Work in a relevant industry like hospitality.

You can take a job in a wine bar, winery, wine-driven restaurant, or even as a hotel banquet staff. Jobs in these industries can give you opportunities to develop your sommelier experience. It may seem slow, but starting from the bottom is the only way to become a professional sommelier.  

You do not need a certificate to become a sommelier. However, acquiring certifications helps improve your chances of getting your dream job. Becoming a professional sommelier may be difficult, but it sure is a fun job. 


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