A sommelier is a trained wine professional. Sommeliers usually work at fancy restaurants and specialize in food and wine pairing.
You can’t just call yourself a sommelier.
Banville & Jones offers a Professional Sommelier Program. But first, you need to complete 3 levels of Wine Steward training. Level one costs around $500, level 2 is around $800, and level 3 costs about $1300. Plus training hours, and the cost to become a sommelier at Banville & Jones is $4500!
Then there is a master sommelier. They do a three-day test that can only be taken one per year. They have a theory exam, a service test, and a tasting. The tasting is of three white wines and three red wines. The sommelier has to say if the wine is old world or new world, explain the structure, body, alcohol, what region it is from, the varietal, if it is from a warm or cold climate and the age range of the wine.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t tell a difference between a pinot noir that cost $12, or a $500 bottle of shiraz.
So why do it?
After watching the movie SOMM, I am inspired. I wont do it because I don’t have that much time, but wow, I am impressed. A “somm” knows about culture, history, pairing food with wine… It’s pretty cool.
Each vintage has its own story. They know if it was a bad year for harvest, the family history of where the wine was grown, and, if they are a good somm, they can take you across the world with how they tell you the story of where your wine is coming from.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a somm to talk about wine — Thank God, I would need to find a new blog topic.
There is so much to know, you don’t need to know it all. Don’t be discouraged. People love to talk about wine, and it’s a great thing to bring up in a crowd. It’s kind of fun to learn as you go with wine. Try looking up the bottle of wine you purchase next time you drink some!
Plus, wine tasting is learned. If you really want to become a sommelier, you can. You aren’t born with a special ability
Happy tasting, friends!