Who is a sommelier
Sommelier or a wine steward is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional at the service of wine customers whose trust he/she must gain with open and objective wine assessments and recommendations.
In order to be successful, a sommelier must be familiar with and have the latest information about certain production areas, quality of production companies, top brands, vintages and many other wine characteristics necessary for wine evaluation and for pairing wine with food.
Similar to a bartender, a sommelier is an expert and a cultured person, elegant, unobtrusive, humorous and sociable, with a task to stimulate the patron’s interest in food as well as drink.
What does a sommelier do
A sommelier is employed mostly in high end restaurants and hotels. Duties of a sommelier are the following:
- wine procurement
- wine storage
- wine list management
- wine cellar management
- wine serving
The right person for this job is someone with talent and affinity towards wine. Education is very important but practical training and experience is crucial as well.
Tastevin – symbol of a sommelier
Symbol of a sommelier is a tastevin – a small, very shallow silver cup or a saucer traditionally used by winemakers and sommeliers when judging the maturity and taste of a wine.
Quality of a wine list can determine the quality of a restaurant. A sommelier does not stock cellars with pretty labels, but with a reasonable choice of wines that pair well with the restaurant’s menu and match the seasons they are to be sold in.
Sommelier must know the wine market from the financial aspect as well in order to purchase wine in the most favorable moment regarding price and quality.
Sommelier’s task is to sell the wine. He/she must therefore estimate the ratio between price and quality and present the wine to patrons at the most optimal time.
Most importantly, a sommelier must know how to pair wine and food and be able to complete the patrons’ gastronomical experience.