How to learn a new profession: sommelier

For the sake

Every wine lover secretly or openly wants to get a job as a sommelier. This profession is surrounded by an aura of nobility, aristocracy, elitism even. And it seems undemanding to candidate drink wine and remember the taste. In fact, it is not given to everyone to become a professional sommelier, skills which will always be in demand in the domestic market. In this case, you can’t just sit out their 8 hours and go home. Sommeliers appreciate the result, and if he does not give the desired result of such a specialist will not take. However, this specialization is still attractive, so we want to focus on it to elaborate on the subtleties of the work, of obtaining the necessary knowledge and position in the labour market.

The origin

The single version, which tells about the origins of the profession of sommelier, do not exist. However, there are two of the most replicated stories that look plausible. According to one of them, the profession originated in Italy in the 17th century. In those years the Duke of Piedmont created the post of «similare». The candidate elected from among the court of tasters and posted solely for drinks. He also controlled the flow of wine, the serving and quality.

Of course, the French do not agree with the Italians, it is a matter of national pride. According to their version, the word «sommelier» comes from medieval Provence. Then in Vogue were the old French language, because the post sounded otherwise – «sommereier» (literally: «rider of a beast of burden»). This man was responsible for transporting Luggage in the court of the feudal lords, on his conscience, of course, was wine.

However, it is reasonable to assume that the «legs» sommelier grow from more ancient eras. After all, wine is far more ancient than France, and it is foolish to claim that the Greek generals or Roman senators didn’t need people in the court who knew this wonderful grape drink. But today, when we’re talking about a sommelier, so we assume:

a) France the mid-19th century, when the profession was finally formed;

b) current time when it became relevant again.

Where the work of a sommelier


The sommelier combines several specialties, who can set myself completely different tasks. This is the universality and modern relevance of the profession in the market.

A good specialist in the wines perfectly able to work in a facility that will serve as an indispensable specialist. Often technologists give lectures in schools of sommeliers, sharing direct experience in the field of wine production. And sometimes they themselves are the courses to more clearly imagine the taste changes in the wines of different years of harvest. This is an extremely important task, because even the wine of one grape variety can vary in taste only at the whim of the climate. The manufacturer is always trying to maintain and improve the level of wine produced, whether working in the vineyard or the winery, because the competition in the wine business is very high. Today in Russia a lot of wine, which deserve the attention of the buyer, and all of them need exceptional expertise.

But if you go back to basics, that the primary task of the sommelier is to mediate between a good wine and man. Not expensive, not cheap, but it was good wine! This is an important addition.

A real sommelier will never offer the most expensive item from the wine list only because of the cost of the drink. These people just want to raise the cost of the order, surpassing all norms of decency. This allowed the waiter, who has no knowledge, and guided by the logic of «if it is expensive, and the taste normal.»And people are hooked on it, not realizing that the taste of wine depends on a hundred different things, about which the waiter had never imagined. For this reason fine dining restaurants often hire a staff of sommeliers, whose duties include client consultation and preparation of an original wine card of an institution.

Wine shops can also work with a sommelier, gradually, and online shopping is hiring in the wine departments of the relevant experts. The bulk, of course, works in restaurants, where communication skills with customers are of importance on a par with knowledge of wines. Clearly, the sommelier conducts a briefing before the waiters on how to properly serve the wine, what to recommend and what glasses.

It is necessary to highlight experts at the blame who do not work in restaurants or in manufacturing, but still command everyone’s respect. As a rule, people who study the history of wine, individual wine regions, trying to recover forgotten recipes and are consultants in different specialized publications. Most often they have many years of work in the field. They work as guides at the famous vineyards, conduct lectures and, of course, are trained in the art of sommelier of other people.

Mandatory skills


It may seem that the profession of a sommelier is close to art. The way it is, but this is only part of the truth. The fact is that a sommelier must possess significant knowledge, which he could apply in practice. Most such knowledge is difficult to acquire, even if to speak about initial sense of the wine world, but you can always enroll in a specialized school and receive training from an experienced sommelier with rich experience. Such schools exist in Russia. In them it is possible not only to obtain and improve their theoretical knowledge, but also learn how to decompose the taste and aromas of wine into components to correctly interpret the wine bouquets. Smell, of course, occupies a dominant position in the list of skills required the candidate for admission to such schools.

But back to the mandatory knowledge that will be useful not only to professionals but also Amateurs of wines.

We list them briefly:

– knowledge of grape varieties and characteristics of wines produced from them;

– what is terroir and how it affects the taste of wine;

– as a solution to the winemaker about the time of harvest influence the taste of wine;

– what is the role of barrels in winemaking;

a classic combination of wine and food, the principle of the Assembly;

– the influence of the shape of the glass on the taste of wine;

– the definition of a pallet during a blind tasting;

– the ability to choose one bottle of wine to different customers ‘ orders.This, of course, only the tip of the iceberg, and the essence is hidden under the water and it is attained only by years of experience. The best tasters of wines to try, as a rule, thousands of different wines, so they have a great tasting experience. This is partly explains such high selection criteria introduced for its members the Union of sommeliers of France. Winners of international competitions, the sommelier, tend to be people who have behind them experience of 15-20 years.

Learning the profession of sommelier


Difficulties not a hindrance, if we are talking about the fact that you think the dream of a lifetime. Friends can consider your desire stupidity, and relatives madness, but that doesn’t mean you should drop everything and forget about the goal. Best option start mastering the basics wine art is a admission to a wine school. If you want to choose it yourself, then be sure to look at the teachers. They should have international wine education, for example, the program WSET. First of all, it should be certified professionals and the best when their certificate will be of European origin, those countries that are famous for their wine traditions and professional approach to business.

We chose the wine school «marine Express» as an example of a great educational institution, which meets the highest standards. The school itself is located in the heart of Saint Petersburg, on the Griboyedov canal. Their sommelier courses impressively punctual, a deep immersion into the subject. In addition to the passport (it must still be earned) by the end of the course you will be offered assistance in employment and open access to numerous tasting competitions and professional sommelier.

The training program wine school «marine Express» includes: master-classes, short courses and the professional courses that cover the subject in all its diversity.

Master classes are practitioners who are winners of various wine courses and the best teachers of the country. They are held often, and available to everyone. Even experienced wine lovers they will be interesting, because at such events share a unique experience, which you may not be.

Express courses are ideal for busy people who can’t afford to study for 4 months. They include 5-10 days of theory and practice of tasting that will help you to obtain the basic skills and understand in which direction to move on. The teachers themselves say that this is not enough time to obtain more knowledge, but it’s enough to understand their predisposition to this profession and to probe the ground. Before all else, you will be the best teachers of St. Petersburg.

The main focus of course is on full training. It has a full-time education, which lasts 4 months and includes 48 lessons (180 hours) and evening form of education, which lasts for 48 lessons. Just dial up 4 groups and learn have or September to January or from February to June. Each lecture is accompanied by a wine tasting of the region under study (the price of the drinks are included in the tuition). That is, can work at any convenient time for you. Following the passage of the wine school, you will be given a certificate of successful completion. The courses themselves are popular with employees of wine trading companies, caviston, sommelier, corporate clients and, of course, wine lovers, who are terribly curious about the production of wines in Alsace, Bordeaux, Tuscany, etc.

«Marine Express» – a great choice if you wish to link professional relationships with the wine.

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