How to Become a Sommelier

We all enjoy a glass of wine now and then but what if you find yourself more passionate about the beverage than most people? A sommelier is a person who has done an extensive amount of research and training (and a lot of tasting) to become an expert in the world of wine. Read more below on this fascinating career field.

Research the Top Wine Producers
The top regions for producing wine are the United States, Spain, France, Argentina and Italy. If you find yourself traveling to any one of these destinations, visit the local wineries. The employees will gladly give you a tour and will take the time to educate you on their selection and process. It is helpful to get know the climate, ingredients, brewing methods and the type of grapes grown in each region.
If traveling is not in the budget, visit a local wine shop for tastings or check out books from the library. The more research you do, the more knowledgeable you will become about the varieties of wine.

Learn Wine Etiquette
Most sommeliers are employed by fine dining restaurants. Part of their responsibility is selecting wines to pair with dishes. They’re also knowledgeable in proper uncorking, pouring and selecting the appropriate wine glass. Attaining a server position in a fine dining establishment such as NoJa can be your first step in becoming a sommelier. The staff will take the time to help you become an expert in the field. You can either shadow the house sommelier or assist the bartender.

Just like any career field, receiving a certification will allow you to advance in your field and put you ahead of the competition. The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has classes and exams for those interested in becoming certified. The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) is a rigorous course of study focusing on wine and food pairing. Professionals consider the WSET program more academic while the CMS follows an independent study approach with a service industry focus.

Becoming a sommelier can be a fulfilling career for someone who not only has a passion for wine but also is interested in the history, origin and taste. It takes a lot of time and study to become a sommelier, but it will definitely give you a sweet reward!

It’s NoJa’s attention to detail and our focus on farm-fresh ingredients that has allowed us to continue to serve this area for so long. For an intimate meal in one of the Port City’s longest-running restaurants in Downtown Mobile, make a reservation to NoJa. We have both indoor and outdoor seating in a secluded area, just steps from Dauphin Street in LODA at 6 N. Jackson Street. To reserve a table now, call 251-433-0377. Learn more about our cuisine and offerings at or on our Facebook page.

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