Sommelier / Wine Taster
The word Sommelier is of French origin and the term refer to a wine waiter or wine steward. Traditionally these wine stewards or butlers provided service to families of royalty. That tradition and its ensuing role has evolved over the generations and the modern Sommelier/wine taster provides wine service to restaurants, and in most cases 'fine' restaurants. However, a sommelier is much more than that. He/She is a highly trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in all aspects of wine service, from advising diners on what wines would go best with certain foods, managing inventory flow, creating wine lists for F&B establishments etc. This requires a blend of Hospitality skills and in-depth knowledge of wines- the grape varieties, regions, vintages, vineyards, how to taste wine etc. Wine tasting is the methodology of assessing the quality and craftsmanship of wine. A sommelier is the most important person in wine presentation. In other words, sommelier is a person who manage the business's wine selection, oversee their wine purchasing, receiving, storage, sales and service. The Sommelier must train staff on proper serving protocol, technique, etiquette, and basic wine knowledge, since they are the front line to the patrons and are responsible for overall wine service. The Sommelier is the person that patrons will summon for sensitive and intuitive wine selection advice based upon their tastes, dining choices and budget. These are people with a love of wine who are eager to impart some of their knowledge to the customer. They must present the wine, verify the wine which the customer intended, check the wine's temperature, uncork the wine, and when appropriate, decant it. They are expected to know the details of all the wines on the menu, the wine's region, varieties, vintage year quality, ratings, and any juicy gossip floating around the wine industry about a particular winery or personality. Drinking and judging wine may sound like an ideal job, but it's difficult work that requires extensive practice and knowledge. Many sommeliers are knowledgeable about the chemistry behind making wine, how to taste the wine, and how to judge its colour, aroma and flavour. A good sense of taste and smell are as essential as a keen understanding of food chemistry. You'd have to use your olfactory (capacity of smelling or sense of smell) senses to examine and evaluate wines while using formal terminology to describe flavors, aromas and general characteristics of the wines. No matter how much formal training or education you'll get, it's important for a sommelier to have hands-on experience working with wine. A good wine sommelier will be abreast of current trends in food and wine, as well as current trends and changes in the industry as a whole. Sommeliers can learn about customers tastes by encouraging them to share their experiences with other wines. In general, a good wine sommelier will help his or her patrons dining experience to be exciting and interesting. The wines that he or she suggests will enhance the flavors of the foods served and make the meal more memorable. Many factors can influence wine selection. A wine must fit the food served, whether it's an appetizer, a meal or a dessert dish. Individual preferences also factor in, along with the wine buyer's desired price range. Eligibility Educational: The requisites to be in this field is a degree from a reputed hotel management institute followed by on-the-job training, or a certified course from a reputed organization, strong interest in the subject and the desire to learn. A certified Sommelier qualification from a reputed institute is a requisite to get into top positions. A sommelier certification offer practical training in wine service and tasting as well as knowledge about wine regions, winemaking and viticulture practices etc. Courses are offered mainly at two levels: Level I - Foundation course, Level II - Intermediate course. The curriculum will be covering a range of related subjects including the history of wine, the marketing of wine, the wine regions of the world, viticulture (grape varieties) and vinification (wine making), types and styles of wine, understanding wine labels, understanding quality designations, wine service and storage, food and wine pairing and responsible consumption. Wine tasting courses teach students the physiological and sensory reactions to wine which can offer information into where the wines come from, what grapes were used, and by what methods the wine was made etc. Personnel attributes: To be a sommelier one must have hospitality skills, administrative skill to train staff, communication skill to deal with people, listening skills to understand what customers are looking for etc. They must ideally love travelling as frequent travel is part of their career. At the same time they should be ready to work for long hours. They also require excellent customer service skills, as well as a thorough knowledge of wine vintages.