The foremost aim of a Sommelier is to add value to customer’s wine drinking experience. He helps the wine lovers arrive at a decision about the qualities of wine. Sommelier influences the wine buying behavior. He shall have very well developed sensory perception capabilities for this profession. This key characteristic is vital for being successful in this profession.
Below are the few points that make the Sommelier stand out from the rest:
Sommelier needs to know about different types of wines from classic to upcoming, wines coming from different regions of the world and what is the specialty of a wine-region. He should able to guess the wine characteristics, type of wine, region correctly during blind tastings. This is accomplished with comprehensive study and practical tasting.
For those beginning on the road to becoming Sommelier, one should know, it is a constant learning process and takes hard work, persistence, and dedication to be a Sommelier.One needs to be completely devoted to the study of wines with the objective of defining and differentiating their characteristics to the core.
He should be willing to explore all sorts of wine beverages and should understand that wines are designed taking customer preferences into account and cultural influences of that region.
By taking the help of flashcards while studying, noting important points learned and going through them repeatedly can make the person more fluent on the subject of wines. By tasting a wide variety of wines and able to distinguish one wine from another is also required from them.
Certification can be useful but it is not the sole criteria to judge someone as an effective sommelier.
For a person who has worked in a vineyard previously, and is equipped with the knowledge of what goes into making wine, it can prove handy sometimes when dealing with customers. Though this is not a pre-requisite from the very beginning, it is desirable for the person to be willing to move to the estates and spend some time there.
Hands-on experience of working in fine dining restaurants can prove useful for future Sommeliers and should know a thing or two on how to deal with difficult customers and to maintain the composure in tight situations.
How a Sommelier present himself can leave a lasting impression on the customer. Dressed impeccably and it can gain the respect of the customer.
Customer service is of prime importance for a Sommelier. Whether it is serving the wine at the right temperature, listening attentively or suggesting alternate choices to the customer, be it for wines or food pairing, all comes under customer satisfaction which a sommelier should be well versed in.