Sommelier | Ponder


What do they do?

Sommeliers (also known as wine waiters) are experts in wine. They study everything there is to know about wine from the grapes, regions, and preparation methods to which pairings work well with certain foods.

Sommeliers work in fine dining restaurants, hotels, and the retail industry. From serving choosing and serving wines, to writing about wines, becoming a wine buyer, or working for vineyards as a sales representative.

A love of wine, a good nose and excellent palate could make you the perfect candidate to be a sommelier.


  • Selecting and buying a wine list for a specific business
  • Pairing food with a wine that will compliment or enhance the flavours
  • Updating wine lists in line with menu change
  • Maintaining inventory
  • Educating other staff members about the wine list and how to choose, store and serve wines
  • Engaging with customers, finding out their likes and budget then helping them decide which wines best fit their needs
  • Testing the quality of wines before serving (in case they are corked or flawed)
  • Serving wine to the customers, using the correct corking, tasting and pouring techniques, glassware and decanting methods
  • Making sure the customers are happy and providing them with more details or other options throughout the course of their meal if necessary
  • Continuing to study wines, taste new producers, blends, vintages, and regions
  • Attending industry events

Skills required:

  • Amazing customer service and knowledge of products (wines, spirits and other beverages)
  • Teamwork – working with business owners, chefs and other wait staff to ensure the best overall service
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Passionate


Obtain work experience or VET qualifications within the hospitality or viticulture industries.

Get your responsible service of alcohol license.

Learn a lot about wines and beverages.

Obtain qualifications within the industry such as the 4 levels of:

  • Introductory Sommelier
  • Certified Sommelier
  • Advanced Sommelier
  • Master Sommelier

Offered at The Court of Master Sommeliers annually.

Average salary for a Certified Sommelier is $60,000 per year (Source:

Job growth in this area is predicted to be moderate (Source:

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