A sommelier is not a waiter, as sometimes assumed, but a wine steward. The sommelier will have an exceptional knowledge on wines, and will know what wines to order to go with each of the chef’s dishes. The sommelier will also help diners choose wine to go with their meal.
A sommelier must handle all wine inventory and management. They are in charge of the purchasing of wines and creating the wine list based on the chef’s recipes. As expected, a sommelier must have exceptional taste and high standard customer service skills. They must have a great understanding of wines, high expertise and knowledge.
This is clearly not an entry level position. Sommeliers have often undertaken coursework or a certificate in wine tasting and pairing – often having studied in America or Australia. The best way to gain experience in this area though remains working within the restaurant industry.
The average salary of a sommelier is £21,365 per year, but this depends on the profile of the restaurant, the geographical area and the size of the business.