A Sommelier is a wine specialist and is responsible for all aspects of wine service in a restaurant. Depending on the level of experience, in more formal restaurants, there are different positions which may include: Head Sommelier, Assistant Head Sommelier, Senior Sommelier.
A Sommelier's key responsibilities:
- In the dining room, the sommelier is present during the service to advise the customers and to carry out the service of the wines at the table, respecting the very precise rules of the profession: opening, decantation, presentation of the wine and comments, tasting, then service by the glass.
- The sommelier knows the food menu and works closely with the Executive chef.
Key sommelier skills are:
- A subtle taste and smell are the first qualities to possess to develop skills in wine knowledge and quality discernment.
- Curiosity and open-mindedness are necessary to follow the evolutions of the kitchen of the establishment and discover new trends beyond the "great classics".
- Pedagogy: the sommelier must have the passion to share his knowledge.
- Good negotiator: to ensure the profitability of his winery, the sommelier must ensure that he gets the best prices from his suppliers.
- Good memory: the sommelier must have in memory all the wines on the menu, sometimes several hundreds.
- Independent and autonomous while listening to the chef and his superior in the dining room.
Key Sommelier diplomas and levels of training:
- WSET certification, Master of wines
Did you know?
It appears that “Sommelier” comes from the Middle French word saumalier
, or soumelier
, who was a person in charge of the transportation of supplies, or in charge of pack animals (somier
, which were the pack animals themselves).