The art of the sommelier: the perfect wine pairing

What flavors does a wine have? What is its finish like? What texture does it have? There are many wine lovers, but often, they are missing the know-how. Sommeliers help with finding the perfect wine pairing. They find wines that match not only the food, but also the individual taste of the guest.

Expertise for the ultimate wine experience

What's it all about?

🍷 What is a sommelier?
🍷 How to become a sommelier
🍷 What does a wine sommelier do?
🍷 The role of the sommelier in fine dining


What is a Sommelier anyway? The term "sommelier" comes from the French and means "wine waiter" or "cellar master". In English, we refer to wine experts as sommeliers. They are responsible for ordering, storing, selecting and presenting wines in restaurants, hotels and wine bars. Sommeliers are experienced and passionate wine lovers who have a deep understanding of all types of wine – be it red, white or rosé. Some sommeliers focus on sparkling wines and specialize in fine wines such as champagne.

How to become a sommelier?

In principle, anyone can call themselves a sommelier, as the title is not protected. However, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) offers an on-the-job training program to become a wine sommelier. Over the course of 14 months, students learn about the world's wine-producing countries, current wine trends and developments, intensive sensory training and professional tastings. The curriculum also includes beverage science and an examination of cellar technology, wine production and legal issues. Upon successful completion of the program, participants are awarded the title of Certified Sommelier or Certified Sommelière.

Requirements for a Sommelier

  • A passion for wine: A deep interest in wine and its diversity is the foundation.
  • Practical experience: Gastronomic experience is essential for a sommelier - which is why the IHK training is part-time.
  • Further knowledge: In addition to wine expertise, sommeliers also need basic business knowledge, organizational skills and good social skills. With this knowledge, they find the right wine for the guest, the occasion and the dish.

What does a sommelier do?

As a wine expert, a sommelier's main role in a restaurant is to advise guests. He or she recommends wines that match both the food and the individual tastes of the guests, especially in fine dining establishments. However, the sommelier not only advises on the appropriate wine accompaniment, but also serves the wine professionally as a wine waiter. What guests don't realize: Sommeliers are also responsible for stocking, ordering, storing and managing the wine cellar. The complex beverage management is increasingly facilitated by digital technologies, such as the SommIT app.

What is the role of wine pairings in fine dining?

The right wine completes the taste experience of a dish, which is why the wine sommelier is so important, especially in award-winning cuisine. Sensory analysis plays an essential role in wine consulting. This means that the sommelier tastes the wine with their eyes, nose, tongue and palate. They know not only the individual facets and aromas of the wine, but also those of the dish. Only then they are able to match wine and food perfectly. The result is a harmonious interplay of flavors and textures that provides guests with a well-rounded taste experience.

The METRO Wine World

From a meal to a feast with the right wine – METRO helps restaurateurs with their wine product world. From mulled wine to exclusive red wine, exquisite white wine and sparkling wine: the selection of excellent wines is diverse. Every year, METRO's wine experts search the world for a partner to produce the Wine of the Year - exclusively for METRO customers. They taste hundreds of wines and review numerous wineries before making the final selection. Wine of the Year 2023: The CEPA DIVISA from the Rioja region of Spain.

How much money does a sommelier make?

A sommelier's salary depends on many factors: Work experience, education, competition and qualifications. According to the job portal, a sommelier earns an average of €35,400 gross. The annual gross salary ranges from €21,400 to €41,400.

It took a whole 800 years for the first women to be admitted to the Jurade of Saint-Emilion, one of Bordeaux's oldest and most influential brotherhoods. Today, women winemakers seem like a given.

Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti with daughters (left to right) Chiara Lungarotti and Teresa Severini

The feminine charm of wine

Today female winemakers seem to be nothing unusual. We owe it to women like Widow Cliquot or Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy.

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