Sommeliers’ Secret – Photo by Big Dodzy on Unsplash
Sommeliers, also known as wine stewards, are any wine lover’s go-to expert for beverage recommendations in a restaurant. They know which wine types pair with which food and will happily share their wine knowledge.
However, sommeliers do more for the wine industry than you might think. They are shaping it in these fascinating ways:
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Whether you ask them about grape harvesters and commercial winery supplies, or production techniques and the best-growing regions, sommeliers will likely have the information you need. They regularly seek out education and training opportunities to learn new information about the wine industry.
However, this information isn’t just for their own benefit. They remain current with trends and innovations to educate others. Both business employees and wine customers can learn a great deal from wine sommeliers.
Creating Wine Lists
If you’ve ever wondered how your local restaurant or wine bar always has an incredible selection of wines on its menu, you may need to thank a sommelier. In many situations, they are called upon to curate wine lists to wow and inspire.
When selecting wines, sommeliers are always thinking about how they can provide the classics while also introducing lesser-known varieties to excite customers. The goal is to ensure customers have their regular ‘safe’ options but can broaden their horizons when they feel like something different.
Helping with Wine Pairings
Many people enjoy a glass of wine with their meal. They may choose their favorite variety and don’t think twice about whether it actually works in harmony with their food choices. Sometimes, it doesn’t, and your enjoyment of both the wine and meal can be affected. You may not even know why and believe there’s something wrong with the wine, food, or both.
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels
That’s where sommeliers excel. Through the information they learned from bodies like the North American Sommelier Association, they can provide well-educated advice on the best wines to enjoy with specific meals based on how the flavors will complement each other.
For example, they know that delicate white wines pair beautifully with equally delicate seafood and that rich red meat can work well with red wine. They can even tell you that tannic wines are often the best choice for fatty cuts of meat due to how the tannins cleanse the palate. Whenever you’re unsure which wine to order off a menu, they can be there to recommend a standout option to prevent disappointment.
Enhancing Customer Experiences
There’s more to drinking wine than just enjoying the taste. Customers also want to know where their wine comes from, how it’s made, and whether a particular type will enhance their meal. It’s this information that can contribute to a far better wine-drinking experience.
In the right environment, sommeliers can be available to offer information and advice to enhance the customer experience.
Sommeliers Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion
Sommeliers will always recommend wines and winemakers they believe will contribute to a more beneficial wine-drinking experience. However, they are also not afraid to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the wine industry where they think it’s needed.
For example, they might recommend that wine sellers stock wines from underrepresented regions. They might also show support for minority winemakers.
Sommeliers are more than just wine experts. They are trendsetters, customer service professionals, and advocates for those trying to make a name for themselves in the wine industry, embodying a multifaceted role that blends expertise with mentorship. The fascinating facts above may prove helpful if you’re thinking about becoming a sommelier or want to know how they can enhance your wine-drinking experience.