Are Sommeliers new rock stars?
Sure you know who sommeliers are and what they generally do, but there's more to this job description than you would think. Generally speaking, sommelier is a person responsible for all aspects of wine in a bar or a restaurant. Depending on the type of premises where one works (fine dining restaurant, more casual restaurant, wine bar), sommelier duties vary.
Sommelier may be responsible for creating a wine list as well as for staff education and training. Furthermore, sommelier works together with a chef in order to make sure that the wine cellar corresponds to the current menu. Also, sommelier has to be fully prepared to give wine recommendations to guests, according to their chosen food.
This responsibility certainly requires a lot of experience in food and wine pairing techniques, as well as an excellent understanding of restaurant's menu and wine list. Finally, sommelier is in a direct contact with people and therefore must be able to recognize a subtle hint regarding guests’ budget limit and recommend wines accordingly.
It is a demanding profession, so no wonder sommeliers of top restaurants enjoy a great reputation. Chefs working in high-end restaurants are well aware sommeliers are the ones who can take a dining experience to a whole new level. Perfect food-wine pairing is considered a must in this type of restaurants.
Instead of dreading to talk to a sommelier, you should in fact be excited about it. Why? Because a lot of them have actually dropped their guard and are now practicing a more informal approach to their guests. There are a few reasons for that. With the rise of bistronomy, fine dining is taken from uptight restaurants to more informal bistros where casual approach to gastronomy is more appropriate.
This resulted in people paying more attention to food and wine pairing. This doesn’t mean sommeliers working in this type of restaurants are less informed. Au contraire, some of them enjoy a rock-star status since they are revealing a whole new world to their customers. There are places where you go to eat because of their sommelier.
The role perception as such has changed, so nowadays when someone says “sommelier” you probably don’t think of a middle aged man in a black tie that recommends expensive French wine, but an interesting young individual that probably introduces you to a grape variety you never heard of, coming from a secluded organic winery from God-knows-where (in Croatia ;)). And that’s the beauty of it. The point is that a certain stigma has been taken away from this profession, as we are witnessing a change in standards. A lot of people today are taking sommelier classes just for the fun of it and that’s a great thing for the wine world.
So go ahead and start exploring our site, maybe you’re the next rock-star sommelier.
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