Dream job, right? All you have to do is drink wine and say how it tastes, what flavors it has, which food it would go best, etc. But is it this easy? Don’t they get drunk? Do they memorize all the wine styles? How much wine do sommeliers drink?
Sommeliers taste about 40 bottles of wine in a full-time shift. But sommeliers only taste the wine then spit it out to avoid getting drunk.
Let’s dive deeper into how much wine do Sommeliers drink as well as learn more about Sommeliers in general.
Who Are Sommeliers?
Sommeliers or wine stewards are people who trained specially for this job. Nowadays, they are working in restaurants and specialized in all aspects of wine service, from which glass to pick for the particular kind of wine to the food pairings.
In the fine dining restaurants, they know the importance of a sommelier whose role is strategically on par with the head chef.
A sommelier may be responsible for developing wine lists and books. They also work on the serving of wine and food and train the other staff of the restaurant. Sommeliers work with the culinary team to pair and suggest wines to complement each particular food menu item.
This part of the job involves the need for in-depth knowledge of how food and wine (or other spirits and beverages) work in harmony. A professional sommelier also works on the restaurant floor and has direct contact with restaurant patrons.
Nowadays, a sommeliers’ use may be considered broader than working only with wines and may encircle all aspects of the restaurant’s service, with an intensified focus on wines, beers, spirits, soft drinks, cocktails, mineral waters, and tobaccos.
Where Do Sommeliers Learn?
Sommelier in Old french meant pack animal. A sommerier watched over them. The sommeriers were responsible for the animals and their cargo. Then again, sommerier mutated into the word soumelier, and the meaning slightly changed; a soumelier (which is a Middle French word) was responsible for transporting supplies. The spelling and meaning slightly transformed again, and the sommelier already was someone in charge of a specific type of cargo.
Author Note: Then sommeliers were encharged into the household of the kings. They were responsible for choosing the king’s food, wine, dessert, and table settings. The sommeliers always had a tastevin around their neck, which is a silver wine accessory.
They were tasting the wine before their lord would have it to check if it is poisoned. If the sommelier died, the king did not drink the wine.
The working conditions now are way better for sommeliers, and there is no risk of being poisoned. But, they can be poisoned from the large amount of alcohol they have during the day. It depends on how much wine do sommeliers drink.
What Do Sommeliers Drink?
If you think the answer is way too obvious, think twice. You don’t have to love wine to be a sommelier. In fact, they drink not only wine but other spirits as well. If you ask them (the sommeliers) what they like to drink the most, they go for cocktails.
But for sure, some professionals really love the process of wine tasting. They drink it by spinning the wine in the glass; they admire its color, smell, and taste. Sommeliers love to find new aromas with each sip and think of new food pairings that can go with old, tasted wines. They adore improvising, and they are real artists.
How Do You Become a Sommelier?
It’s not as simple as you think. You cannot enter a restaurant and say: “Hey, I love wine and can differentiate the dry wine from the sweet.” But it is not very hard either.
You need to find the nearest wine school or wine house in your town and ask them for help. Then, you will take your certificate and start to work. But keep reading and educate yourself constantly.
There are five levels of sommeliers:
- First Level Certification (NWS) Introductory Sommelier Certificate (CMS), Award in Wines (WSET)
- Award in Wines and Spirits (WSET), Foundation Certificate (NWS),
- Certified Sommelier (NWS and CMS)
- Advanced Sommelier (NWS and CMS)
- Master Certification in (NWS), Master Sommelier (CMS), and Master of Wine (WSET)
Secrets Tips for Sommeliers
Like anyone of you, sommeliers have their professional techniques while tasting wine. They follow some rules (if we can name them rules) and quickly tell what characteristics the wine has. Here are some for you to try:
There is no excellent wine when there is no superb glass. Sommeliers pay much attention to which glass you serve the wine with. Because that is one part of their job, they can tell what type of red or white wine you’re serving by one look at a glass even from afar.
And besides, sparkling wine always goes with a different glass shape than the other wine types.
This involves the tastes and the color and every shade of wine, and it doesn’t matter if the wine white, red, or rose. There is a French film of 1976 named “The wing or the tight” (french name of the film “l’aile ou la cuisse”) you can give a go.
The movie has a scene where the main character is a food critic and sommelier and loses his tasting abilities. But he takes the glass, spins it in his hands, and tells precisely which wine is in the glass, even the year it was bottled. Fantastic, right?
The pureness matters because the texture and color can tell much about a glass of wine!
Be patient when testing. The wine needs to warm up before the race. And your taste buds can give you wrong signals at first. So, no rush, don’t judge the wine too fast. Taste it first, then get back a bit later.
Enjoy the wine slowly. After all those processes going on in your mouth, you can really feel the wine’s taste notes and be sure which kind it is.
Please pay close attention to the wine’s temperature, as it may merely expand or spoil the taste. Remember, 10°C for whites and 15°C is generally perfect for reds.
These temperature guidelines will regularly allow you to appreciate the vast majority of wines.
Author Note: Balance is the word that you should have in mind when starting to taste the wine, a little like a luxury pastry to be savored. People love it when all the elements are well proportioned and the sugar is under control, the flavors are frank and intense.
Indeed, there will be few pointers regarding how wines are “born” in a particular region, but above all, look for perfect harmony between the different elements.
This detail will let you know rather quickly if your bottle is ready to be drunk or not and if the year is complete or not. Avoid the biting acidity as well as the noticeable alcoholic strength. Look for the harmony of all the elements!
Priority in Sequence
There is a little trick, which not all the sommeliers remember to use. Sommeliers should indeed help people pick the right bottle of wine at the restaurant or the wine shop. But the question you ask should be more of a “what you going to have at the dinner” not “what do you like to drink.”
People know better what they want to eat than what they want to drink. If they come to buy wine, that means they have something in mind for dinner already. So it would be best if you ask them about the dinner plans and it will help you, too, to suggest the best bottle that pairs with the particular food.
Don’t make people buy pricey wine. If people came to take your advice, it doesn’t mean you have to give them super expensive wine. Besides, we know that price plays a minor role in the bottle.
There are absolutely fantastic wines at an affordable price. Anyway, your job should be to point out the best wine for the occasion. It could be the cheapest, or the most expensive, numbers don’t matter.
Yes, hangovers are quite a topic. When you are drunk on wine and feel tired, a headache, and nausea the next day, you probably need a good red wine. Don’t take pills, and don’t grab a double espresso. Open the bar and take the most acid red in there. There you go, bon appetit.
And the questions of how much wine do sommeliers drink still torturing you, right? After all those info packages they have, do they always enjoy their drink, or they are sick of it already? Keep reading to find out!
How Much Wine Do Sommeliers Drink?
Author Note: As we answered above already, on average, they drink 40 bottles of wine per day. It doesn’t mean they finish all the forty bottles. They simply have to “have a taste” of the wine before serving it to a customer.
So as many customers, as many wines. But even if they don’t drink a whole bottle or a half glass, that much alcohol can be dangerous, so the sommeliers spit the wine. They have to do it. The mouth senses are all there, so they take the wine into their mouth, rinse, and spit it out.
Having that much wine at once can harm the feelings of sweetness, sourness, and spicy in the mouth, so they cannot do their job correctly.
If you thought here is an opportunity to drink as much as you want and not get criticized, sorry for the disappointment. Still, if this is a career path that interests you, do your research on wine courses and examinations then get started. We hope you enjoyed this article on how much wine do Sommeliers drink.
To living a full-bodied life,