If you think being a wine sommelier is all about spending your days drinking the most expensive of wines out of the fanciest of bottles then this might come as a shock to you. A wine sommelier has many other facets to his/her job than just downing a fine bottle of wine.
This career is ideal for all you wine aficionados out there, and what makes it truly unique is that there are only a few hundreds of wine sommeliers in the entire world! An important part of your job will be to have an in-depth knowledge about nearly every single wine in the market and the regions they come from, for example, the contents that go into a bottle of Bordeaux.
In addition to having the know-how of the marketplace, a sommelier also needs to understand his/her customers well. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed looking at a vast selection of wines at a restaurant, not knowing which one to choose that would suit your taste. That’s where a wine sommelier comes in – he/she will be able to tell you which wine will pair best with the food you choose, keeping in mind your taste preferences. A sommelier may also work as a consultant to high-end, fine dining restaurants, curating the wine menu and advising them on a selection of wines.
You don’t need to be a ‘licensed’ or ‘regulated’, but you need some sort of formal training in order to become a wine sommelier. Nearly all culinary schools have a wine course in their curriculum, so if you’d like to diversify your expertise beyond just wines, a course like this would be the perfect fit for you.
A wine sommelier can also work with winemakers, lending their expertise towards developing wines and the contents needed for it. This will also require you to keep studying, and you need to be updated on the latest trends, ingredients, vineyards, etc. You can also work as a wine salesperson, wine distributor, or a guide at vineyards that are open for the public to tour. In India, this still remains very much an out of the box career, and there aren’t any dedicated courses in the wine business. Nevertheless, India is a booming market and there certainly is scope for this to become a full-fledged career for many
Here are the main accredited courses offered to get a job in the wine business –
International Sommelier Guild (ISG)
Court of Masters Sommeliers (CMS)
Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)