How to Start Working as a Sommelier

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by G.H. 226 views

How to Start Working as a Sommelier

There is no question that any wine waiter or waitress can recommend a wine for diners to enjoy. Yet, for those who truly enjoy pairing wines with different foods and are looking for a career doing so there is a job for you. In fine dining restaurants around the country there has been a push to bring in Sommeliers to help patrons pair the perfect wines, beers, spirits, and tobaccos to complement their food choices. While finding an experienced Sommelier in big cities is not too difficult, smaller cities often have a harder time finding qualified Sommeliers. This presents an excellent opportunity for those eager to learn the process to find work across the country.

To qualify as a Sommelier does not necessarily require any formal education nor a certification. As with many professions, having a degree or certification may be a job requirement for an employer or necessary for higher level positions. Earning an Associate's or Bachelor's degrees in the Culinary Arts and even Restaurant or Hospitality Management are good courses when working towards a career as a Sommelier. In place of or in addition to a formal degree from an accredited college would be a Sommelier Certification program. Sommelier Certification courses are offered by such organizations such as North American Sommelier Association, National Wine School and International Wine & Spirits Guild.

A basic certification can typically be completed within a few days by completing a short course and an examination. Certification courses may only take a few days but this is enough to earn a beginners certification. Courses will vary in length and cost. You can expect Sommelier Certification courses to cost $500 and up depending on the courses you choose. To earn a Master Sommelier Certification you should expect to invest many years learning and understanding the trade with the guidance of existing Master Sommeliers and earning more advanced certifications along the way.

As a Sommelier you can improve upon your skills by practicing serving and pouring wine. Read wine, spirits and other culinary magazines to stay on top of the trends within the industry. You will want to understand proper dining etiquette and present yourself in a professional manner. Be well groomed and have strong interpersonal communication skills as you will be dealing with all levels of wine experts when serving a table. Look for networking opportunities to meet and talk with other Sommeliers. There are online communities such as Guildsomm where wine professionals can discuss a variety of topics with other individuals in the business.

A Wine Sommeliers salary may be made up from multiple sources including a base salary, bonuses, profit sharing and commissions. Sommelier salaries can be anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 per year. With more experience, a Master Sommelier can see annual earnings in the $70,000 range. Now invite some friends over and get to work practicing your wine serving skills.

    • Sommelier (Great Pay+Michelin Star+Huge Bonus!!!)
      The Restaurant Zone Washington, DC, USA
      We are searching for a Sommelier on behalf of one of the top fine dining establishments in the DC market featuring an award winning Michelin Star restaurant! This position will be interacting with ...
    • Dir F&B /Must have Sommelier Skills/BERKSHIRES/***** Relais/Michelin
      Synergy Hospitality Group Boston, MA, USA
      Seeking Veteran Unicorn F&B Director with Sommelier certification and Entrepreneurial spirit to lead RELAIS CHATEAUX ***** Five Diamond boutique F&B program at Historic Hotel. For the past 125 years ...
    • Dir.of F& B Ops/Berkshires/Sommelier Skills Req.Michelin ***** Relais
      Synergy Hospitality Group New York, NY, USA
      Seeking Veteran Unicorn F&B Director with Sommelier certification and Entrepreneurial spirit to lead RELAIS CHATEAUX ***** Five Diamond boutique F&B program at Historic Hotel. For the past 125 years ...
    • Sommelier
      Coi Restaurant San Francisco, CA, USA
      We are looking for a talented wine professional to join our team! Must be passionate about wine and people, a team player, and a great service leader. More detail about Coi Restaurant, please visit
    • Hotel Bel Air | Sommelier
      Hotel Bel Air Beverly Hills, CA, USA
      Possesses a Master Sommelier Level 2 or similar. Three-year prior inventory/cost control experience. Knowledge of cash registers and other front of the house equipment. Computer skills helpful. Good ...
    • Sommelier
      Blue Hill at Stone Barns Tarrytown, NY, USA
      The sommelier will support the wine & beverage service on the floor and behind the bar and will be involved in the cellar management (inventory, organization). The sommelier will also participate in ...
    • Genral Manager/Dining Room Manager/Sommelier
      Cleveland Heath Edwardsville, IL, USA
      Looking for a talented candidate to run an upscale bar program including craft cocktails and a wine list. Candidate would also be responsible for all Dining Room/Hospitality execution and results ...
    • Sommelier & Wine Retail Expert
      Wally's Wine & Spirits Beverly Hills, CA, USA
      Wally's Wine & Spirits is an industry leading wine retailer with a 45 year history. Our company is made up of goal-oriented, highly motivated and knowledgeable team members. We encourage an ...
    • Adjunct Faculty - Culinary (Sommelier)
      DC Art Institute of San Antonio, LLC San Antonio, TX, USA
      The Art Institute of San Antonio seeks adjunct instructors to teach Culinary courses, needing someone who is certified in Sommelier. Who We Are! Our campus is part of a system of Art Institute ...
    • Wine Room Manager/Assistant GM
      Mutiny Wine Room Houston Heights, TX, USA
      We are seeking an Sommelier / Head Of Wine Operations to join our team! You will be responsible for providing customers with an elevated wine tasting experience. Responsibilities: * Supervise and ...
    • Restaurant Manager - Upscale Dining
      Patrice & Associates Maui, HI, USA
      Extensive wine knowledge (sommelier a plus) * Ability to coach/mentor team to include hiring or training staff * Complete knowledge of systems and standards * Thorough understanding of restaurant ...
    • Restaurant General Manager - Fine Dining
      Patrice & Associates Honolulu, HI, USA
      Extensive wine knowledge (sommelier a plus) * Ability to coach/mentor team to include hiring or training staff * Complete knowledge of systems and standards * Thorough understanding of restaurant ...
    • Restaurant General Manager
      Oliviana Italiano Ristorante 30909, GA, USA
      Paid Sommelier Certification * Paid Serve Safe Certification * Discounted Meal Program * Salary * Flexible Schedule Applicants MUST: * have experience * be available to work 50+ hours a week * be ...
    • Front of House Manager - Dripping Springs
      Tillie's Restaurant
      ... with sommelier certification or equivalent knowledge base-- -- -- -- --Must be comfortable working on a computer with a grasp on most common operating systems---- -- -- -- --Must be organized and ...
    • Italian Wine & Spirits Specialist
      Lettieri & Co. San Francisco, CA, USA
      ... Sommelier certification an asset ¬∑ Italian language skills an asset ¬∑ Established contacts with restaurants and retail buyers in the San Francisco Bay area an asset We are looking for go-getters ...
    • Food and Beverage Manager
      The Grill on the Alley Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
      Sommelier (CMS) Level 2 or Higher / Associate's Degree preferred / High School Diploma Required Experience: 5 years of Hospitality / Fine Dining Experience More detail about The Grill on the Alley ...
    • Culinary Director
      R&R Hospitality Team LLC Hobe Sound, FL, USA
      Luis' fine dining experience as a sommelier and wine director includes successes at the Bellagio and Aladdin Hotels in Las Vegas as well as acclaimed experience in wine from the Kendall Jackson ...
    • Senior Restaurant Manager
      Mina Group Washington, DC, USA
      Offer feedback to contribute to the Captains and Sommelier evaluations. * Ensure continuous improvement in quality of service, operational effectiveness, and employee retention and satisfaction.
    • Floor Manager
      Bacchus Management Group - HQ San Francisco, CA, USA
      We love managers with Sommelier Level One certifications, and will even sponsor yours, when you are ready. At Bacchus we stand by our Mission: At the end of the day, when everything is said and done ...
    • Restaurant General Manager
      Harper Associates Detroit, MI, USA
      Sommelier, Cicerone, BarSmarts, etc.) * Benefits: * An excellent base salary ($80-90K base depending on experience), * Performance bonus * Health benefits * Paid vacation If that sounds like you, we ...
    • Restaurant Manager
      Harper Associates Birmingham, MI, USA
      Sommelier, Cicerone, BarSmarts, etc.) * Polished, professional image Benefits: * An excellent base salary ($40-$60K depending on experience), * Monthly performance bonus * Outstanding health benefits
    • Bar Manager
      QED EMPLOYER, LLC New Orleans, LA, USA
      Coordinate with sommelier to ensure beverage inventory is merged, complete, and turned in on time. ¬∑ Coordinate monthly beverage education and training with Director of Food and Beverage. ¬∑ Develop ...
    • Sushi Chef
      Joint Venture Restaurants LLC San Diego, CA, USA
      The Joint is a blend of the best quality sushi, boh (please look at our menu), craft beer (26 hand-picked taps), wine (hand-picked list by our GM/ Sommelier), and of course sake. We as a team, work ...
    • Host | Hostess | Server
      Hurley Consultants Greenbelt, MD, USA
      ... sommelier, sous chef, line chef and any other great customer facing roles are encouraged to applky
    • Wine Sales Representative
      Bottle Shop LLC Columbus, GA, USA
      CSW or Sommelier preferred but not required. Must be willing to obtain education if lacking aforementioned credentials. * Excellent customer service skills * Must be willing to work nights and ...
    • Concierge
      Brasswood Bar + Kitchen Saint Helena, CA, USA
      The property is also home to multiple tasting rooms, including a sensory room curated by our Estate Sommelier, a bottle shop with rare wines and liquors and our world-class restaurant, Brasswood Bar ...
    • Fine Dining Server
      The Firehouse Restaurant Sacramento, CA, USA
      Premium pay for servers with Sommelier certification. This position is a rare opportunity! REQUIREMENTS * At least 5 years' server experience in fine dining required. * Food and beverage knowledge.
    • Brand Ambassador - Candytopia Scottsdale
      Candytopia Scottsdale, AZ, USA
      As a Candy Sommelier you fill the most critical role withinour Kingdom: bringing our fantasyland to life! You will use your sweetness,creativity, and genuine desire for PLAY to put smiles on guests ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Milwaukee, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Green Bay, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Wausau, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Madison, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Oshkosh, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • PHYSICIAN
      Jackson Physician Search Eau Claire, WI, USA
      ... sommelier, or history buff, this centrally-located community in southern Wisconsin offers something for everyone. Enjoy the charm and safety of suburban living without giving up easy access to big ...
    • Server
      ARCANA Restaurant Boulder, CO, USA
      Arcana is a great atmosphere to hone service skills and develop in-depth beverage knowledge under Jonathan Watsky (Bar Manager), Michael Elmore (Advanced Sommelier) and Jordan Burghardt (Beer/Cider ...
    • Waiter/Server
      Blackberry Farm Walland, TN, USA
      Promotional positions available upon completion of the tiered system could include Captain (Supervisor), Bartender, Front of House Hostess, Sommelier positions. 1st Tier: Steward * Steward is ...
    • Line Cook
      Blackberry Farm Walland, TN, USA
      Blackberry Farm is a rare collection of artisans - the chef, the master gardener, the baker, the cheese maker, the forager, the butcher, the preservationist, the restaurant manager, the sommelier ...
    • Fine Dining Server
      Lombardi Family Concepts Restaurants Houston, TX, USA
      Fine Dining Servers also may offer suggestions to enhance the experience, such as which wine pairs well with a given entr√©e, or invite the patrons to take advantage of the Sommelier. Handling Orders ...
    • Back Server
      Protégé Palo Alto, CA, USA
      Deductive Wine Tasting Group hosted weekly by Master Sommelier, Dennis Kelly * 2 consecutive days off every week (closed Sunday & Monday) * Health insurance benefits * Located just two blocks from ...