- Taste, select, and serve the best wines for a living
- Opportunity to work in glamourous environments and to travel overseas
- Hours can be long and you'll need dedication and an excellent sense of taste and smell
Sommeliers are skilled professionals with a deep knowledge of wine and winemaking.
Most sommeliers work for top hotels and restaurants, and their work involves:
- Finding and selecting wines
- Managing wine lists and wine cellars
- Explaining wines and selling them to restaurant customers
- Training waiting staff on the wines held by the hotel or restaurant
- Managing budgets and sales figures
You'll often work in beautiful surroundings and have the opportunity to meet many interesting and influential people in this role. Hours can be long, though, and you may need to work late into the evenings and at the weekends. However, the start of your working day is likely to be later than in most working environments.
Some sommeliers will have the opportunity to travel around the world tasting and selecting wines for the cellars they manage.
To become a sommelier you'll need a passion for wine and an excellent sense of taste and smell. You'll also need superb customer service skills, and the ability to communicate professionally with all kinds of people.
You'll need to build up your knowledge of wines, and you can do this yourself through books or online resources, and of course through tasting them yourself. As you gain skills and confidence you can then progress to complete a professional certification from an organisation like the Worldwide Sommelier Association (WSA) or the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
You'll also need the skills to work in the hospitality industry, so completing a hospitality related course is another good way to start. Gaining work experience in a hotel, bar or restaurant with a good wine list is also a great way to build both your skills and knowledge.
As this is a highly skilled profession, there are opportunities to earn excellent salaries for those who achieve master sommelier status.