Monday, August 15, 2011

What exactly is a Sommelier?

A Sommelier is more than just a wine taster but the wine steward and overseer of the wine program of a restaurant or retailer. These wine professionals are in charge of procurement, proper cellaring, wine stock rotation, and wine service. They run the wine show at a restaurant. A Sommelier's primary duty is developing the restaurant's wine list, often working in conjunction with the chef to strategically pair appropriate wines complementary to the menu. The word Sommelier is of French origin, and traditionally these wine stewards or butlers provided service to families of royalty. We here at Mercy Wine Bar pride ourselves with treating our guest like royalty and offering the best knowledge of wine and food!

Becoming a Sommelier is a long road of tasting and studying the world of wine. Although there are several programs offered worldwide to help you achieve this acclaimed status; there are two very prestigious institutes best known for educating the best of the best. They are The Institute of Masters of Wine and The Court of Master Sommeliers. Both institutes hold educational seminars and examinations locally in worldwide locations. Both also require that students have a background in the wine industry. The CMS requires that the student must pass a level one test before you can take the certified Sommelier exam. The level one student must attend a two day conference learning the all the major wine growing regions of the world, as well as spirits, sake and food and wine pairing. Not to mention taste 50 plus wines from around the world. After becoming a certified Sommelier there is advanced and masters program. Similar is the IMS program which is based more on theory and takes a minimum of 3 years to complete based on the progress of the student.

If these programs are not for you, there are Sommelier programs offered at major universities to community colleges and culinary schools. Believe or not for the super dedicated, there are actual universities dedicated to just wine and viniculture.

Mercy is proud to announce that two of our staff members Samuel Rickords and Craig Brazeal have passed the level one Sommelier exam….. and we could not be more proud of them.