By going to a good restaurant, any of us expects to be treated, in addition to respect, with professionalism. If in addition to like eating we like wine a lot, this aspect becomes more important. In the treatment of professionalism in wine matters, the person in charge is known as a sommelier, hired by the restaurant, who will be in charge of explaining every detail in the questions that may arise and the person in charge of advising on aspects that have to do with pairing.
Who is the sommelier?
Although there is popularly some confusion between the role of the sommelier and that of the winemaker, they really are very different jobs. The sommelier can be said to be that wine expert who works in restaurants or wineries facing the public, advising clients on all aspects that have to do with wine and its pairing, it could be said that it is the union between the large producers and final consumers, it is the decisive element for the consumer to take one or the other wine. In addition to this, if you want to be a good sommelier, the professional can perform other tasks such as: buying wine, visiting the vineyard and tasting new wines.
However, and although the two professionals work in the wine industry, the oenologist is in charge of managing the cultivation methods and in charge of controlling and making the wines. It could be said that this professional is present in the first stage of the wine's birth, while the sommelier enters when the wine begins to be marketed.
The importance of the sommelier
Formerly this professional profile was among those interested in the world of wine and who over the years increased their knowledge about pairing and tastings. Nowadays, to be a good sommelier, in addition to having these qualities, some concepts must be clear that can be learned through a sommelier course where one comes into contact with the real world of wine from professionals. The aspects and factors that a sommelier must be clear about and with which they must be able to work without problems when performing a good wine service are:
- Knowledge about viticulture: handle and know all the concepts of the wine world.
- Knowledge of winemaking processes: being able to distinguish between different types of wines according to their elaboration and knowing the processes of each one of them. For example: sparkling wines, sweet wines ...
- Sensory analysis methodology
- Main vocabulary on viticulture: incorporate this specific vocabulary into the daily vocabulary of future sommeliers.
- Knowledge of service technologies
- New trends and aspects of wine consumption: keep up to date on the general rules and customs in the field of wine consumption.
- Knowledge of identification of Denominations of Origin in Australia.
- Knowledge of managing the supply of beverages in a restaurant or specialized store, depending on the characteristics.
- Know the concept of pairing: in this way the specialist is able to properly advise depending on the different gastronomic offers.
How to be a good sommelier?
Previously we talked about the tasks that a sommelier must carry out if he wants to become a good professional, now is the time to talk about the aspects that differentiate a good sommelier from an expert. The latter must be able to perform a spectacular service and enhance the characteristics of good wines so that they increase through experience. There are tasks that a good sommelier must be able to exploit in order to improve their professional skills.
Visits to vineyards
An expert sommelier must carry out tasks that are outside
the walls of the restaurant or specialized establishment where he works, one of
them is the visit to the vineyards that will produce the wines that he will be
in charge of selling. For this reason, it is important that you know the
production from the beginning, that you be able to define the essence of each
wine based on its origins. Contact Hunter Valley Wine Tours today!
Taste new wines
How could it be otherwise, a good sommelier must first be a good wine taster. For this you must attend the best tastings or take a wine tasting events. As a taster, you will be able to recognize the subtlest characteristics of any wine in the mouth and highlight the nuances that it awakens in your senses. In this way, you will be able to advise your customers on the type of wine they need for each situation and the wine that best matches what they have planned to eat.
A professional and experienced sommelier becomes the ideal manager to purchase the local wines. You can identify the differences of each one and distribute the purchase in high, medium and low class wines, available and accessible to all audiences, as well as knowing how to select the appropriate red, white and rosé wines. Also, if the sommelier is in charge of buying the wines, even more so when it comes to selling them, he will be much more in contact with the local wine bar.
Although surely a beginner sommelier is capable of learning all these concepts, it will be the experience that will provide him with sufficient resources to become a trained and ideal professional that every restaurant or specialty store will want to have on its staff. Do you think the role of the sommelier is important? Tell us why.