How to Become a Professional Wine Sommelier

Like many in the food and beverage industry, sommeliers come to the trade from a variety of backgrounds. Many begin as wait staff. Some get their start in the kitchen with culinary training. Still others come from fields such as restaurant management.
The common tie all wine professionals share is a strong interest in wine and a love of fine dining. If you’re passionate about food and wine, becoming a sommelier can be a satisfying lifelong wine industry career.

Learning about wine requires many hours of study, much of it on your own. Having a job in a restaurant or a wine shop is an excellent way to develop your palate, gain experience and augment formal training. Visiting wineries, attending tasting seminars and wine dinners are also very enjoyable ways to learn about wine, but require both time and a financial commitment.

There is no single recognized educational standard when it comes to the sommelier profession, but formal education is an important component of pursuing a job in this field. There are many organizations, colleges and culinary schools that offer training for those seeking to become wine professionals.

What does a potential employer want to see on a resume? Hiring managers look for sommelier candidates with a combination of formal training, certification or progress towards certification, and a demonstrated ability to present and serve wines.

Successful sommeliers truly enjoy the ever-changing world of wine and are committed to continually improving and expanding their knowledge. They take great pride in their work and delight in sharing their expertise with others.

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