The Sommelier; the expert, the font of human knowledge, the person who knows more about a particular beverage, than anyone else on the planet!
It used to be a traditional calling, where wine, and wine alone, was the only area of specialization. But times have changed, and with that, so have the needs of the hospitality industry, and the demands of the public, from whisky, beer, wine, juice, sake, to water, even!
If it’s drinkable, and can be served, a Sommelier can become the knowledge master of it!
Where can you find a Sommelier?
In most cases, they're to be found in high end restaurants and hotels, or working specifically for a particular brand.
Three popular types of sommelier…
1: The Traditional: A sommelier can also be known as wine steward, an expert in wine, and its manufacturing. From knowledge of vineyards to even which type of food best suits a particular wine, these individuals are the additions to a restaurant, that perfect the concept of fine dinning!
There are various ways to become a certified Sommelier, both on an international or local level, which mainly includes a level of study, through practical and written assessments.
The Court of Master Sommeliers, (CMS), originally a British setup, it has expanded into an internally recognised qualification.
The International Sommelier Guild, (ISG), which is targeted at the USA, Canadian, and Chinese regions.
The Cape Wine Academy, which is focused on the South African wine industry.
2: The Game Changer: A beer sommelier is a person who is a specialist in beer, and before you think or say it, being in a university fraternity is not how one becomes qualified, or neither is, for that matter, attending the Oktoberfest!
Learning this craft takes time and application. There are various educational and training setups, offering qualifications within this sector of the hospitality industry.
Must see: Tweeting the life of beer! @BeerSommelier
3: The wannabe superhero – Aquaman: A water sommelier, yes, a water sommelier is the person who specialises in the drinking of bottled water, in an eating establishment. With the commercialisation of bottled water, it was bound to happen, next up, oxygen!
Only thing we could think of: #isthisforreal (apparently so!)
For more on about the career of a Sommelier, visit: the Sommelier Journal.