Wine Sommelier

Help customers pair their food with the finest wine.
picture of Wine Sommelier

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $26,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Wine Sommeliers do?

When people swirl their wine and say they detect hints of oak, nutmeg, and pomegranate, they’re not making it up—well, not always. If you’re a Wine Sommelier, you can not only taste those subtleties; you know about the chemistry behind the taste, and can tell what type of food will go best with it.

A Wine Sommelier is the wine expert in a restaurant. Your job as a Wine Sommelier is to help customers choose the right wine to go with their meal. But this is much more advanced than “white wine goes with fish; red wine goes with beef.” You’ll need to be able to recall the taste of every single wine on the menu, know where it’s from and how it’s made, and explain to the customer why it may complement the dish they have selected. Beyond your own opinions, you have to keep in mind each diner’s tastes and budget, and determine the best possible pairing.

Other duties include serving the wine, maintaining the wine cellar, and educating restaurant staff about the wine list. You might even be responsible for developing the wine list, much like a DJ or Museum Curator preselects music or art.

It’s a competitive career with a serious hierarchy—there are only 100 certified master Sommeliers in the world, and five in New York City. But if you are able to hone your taste buds and memory, and climb your way up the ranks, you’ll eventually gain lifetime access to the best wines in the world.

Should I be a Wine Sommelier?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Master Sommelier, Sommelier

    How to become a Wine Sommelier

    Most Wine Sommeliers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9daaaa&chl=no+college+%2894%25%29|certificate+%286%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,94,94
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