A sommelier, or wine steward, is much more than just a waiter who serve or suggests wines. The sommelier has received specific, intensive training in all aspects of wines. They commonly work in upscale restaurants, hotels, and other retail locations where unique, expensive wines are sold. Some also serve as wine consultants, advising businesses, groups, and individuals about what wines to buy for special occasions and other events, where an impressive wine is desired. Some also go on to open their own wine-based specialty shops, usually located in upscale shopping areas.
On the job, a sommelier must display a thorough knowledge of wines, vineyards, geographic regions producing wine, and the grapes and other fruits used to produce wines worldwide. They also have expertise in purchasing, recommending, storing, and displaying wines.
To become a sommelier, one must extensively study wines. While this can be accomplished over an extended time period, most have graduated from a culinary school with an emphasis in wine, including all of its related details. These details can include pouring properly and selecting the proper style of wine glass. Of course, it is necessary that their knowledge of wine be constantly increased to keep up with new products and changes in the industry. Those who wish to reach the pinnacle of their profession generally receive certification from the court of master sommeliers. Some sommeliers have bachelor’s degrees in hospitality or a related field.
Select and purchase wines within budget parameters.
Help guest select wines.
Develop strategies and train employees in order to increase wine sales.
Maintain and update wine costs an inventory lists.