How to make a career out of loving wine
First of all become a Sommelier, then go and work somewhere where you can taste great wine and listen to the opinions of real experts, then take the leap
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
There are some expenses but they are not enormous, if there is a real passion for wine, some talent and a real desire to transform a passion into a successful career. In fact the real investment is one of the AIS, FISAR, ONAV, FIS, ASPI courses …. With a Sommelier diploma in hand, it is possible to proceed with the next phases. In Italy the diploma counts and this first step must be paid.
To go abroad does not allow you to save money, these first steps cost elsewhere also. In Europe there are sommelier associations practically everywhere connected to the ASI and periodically organize similar course to the Italian ones. In Great Britain there is the very prestigious House of Master of Wine, the dream of every wine lover. It proposes very high level courses and certainly not for beginners, to begin with it is much better to go to WSET, Wine and Spirit Education Trust where recently the royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton studied. So other than having good teachers it also has high level students! In USA it is possible to address your training right from the beginning depending on what one wants to do: Master Sommeliers for those who want to work in the restaurants, WSET is more apt for those who wish to work as importers or wine stores, SWE Society of Wine Educators which forms future teachers.
Evidently the ability in tasting is the most important thing, but there must also be a basis of theory, geographical knowledge, the wine regions’ rulings, as those for the viticulture and grapes varieties, wine making and even biochemistry. So tasting wines is not enough, it is also necessary to study manuals and in this case courses are fundamental.
After this the adventure begins, visiting places where great wines are served, maybe tasting them making the most of the moment of uncorking. It is extremely interesting also listening to comments of great wine lovers who spend loads every evening. So to be a waiter in the Enoteca Pinchiorri can be a spring-board for you, and that is why being accepted in this Olympus is difficult.
What happens next? Managing a restaurant for those who have begun in other restaurants, an importer, a high level wine store, or even the managing of events and welcoming guests into the winery… it is sufficient to look at the web sites where they are looking for qualified staff with experience in wine, to be convinced that there are opportunities both in Italy and abroad…but only for those who speak English well.