I recently read an entertaining article in The Wall Street Journal about the lessons of great sommeliers and was interested and pleased to see the profession is alive and well in the United States.
“According to Andrew Bell, director of American Sommelier, a professional educational organization, his group is “900 times” busier today than it was in 1998 when he founded his first chapter in New York. There was a particular upsurge after the banking crisis of 2008,” the newspaper reported.
Some of the lessons of great sommeliers are:
— The best sommeliers are those with vast knowledge of wine, but must also show passion for wine and personal experience. Keeping their knowledge up-to-date requires constant studying and travel to wine regions.
— A good sommelier must listen to tastes and likes of his restaurant guests but must also know when to be bold and recommend something different and out of the ordinary to diners.
— The best sommelier’s need to communicate their knowledge in “sound bites” when describing wine to restaurant guests.