A strong academic knowledge of wine is crucial to the success of any aspiring sommelier, beverage manager or wine director. The best wine professionals are intimately familiar with how grapes are grown and how wine is made. They can tell you in detail about the soil, climate and geography of the major and minor grape-growing regions of the world. They can tell you which grape varieties thrive in which region and how industry laws vary from country to country. Most importantly, they know how each of these factors impact the final product. A good sommelier can anticipate how a wine will present without having tasted it, simply based on a few key pieces of information. A strong knowledge of wine theory will help any beverage professional serve his or her customer better, which, ultimately, is the name of the game.
But it doesn’t stop there. A sommelier is not just an expert of wine, but also an accountant, an inventory manager, an educator and a customer liaison. So, while knowing the Grand Crus of Burgundy is essential, so is knowing how to budget, report, organize, plan, teach, and serve.
Knowing your stuff will make the difference between you and the other candidates applying for the job. While formal wine classes, sommelier certification, or other training programs are typically not required when applying for a job as a sommelier, wine courses on your resume may demonstrate a commitment to learning and excelling in your trade. Most importantly, the right wine education program will give you the knowledge you need to impress an employer and get the job you want.
Sommelier Education in New York
The American Sommelier VITI Series (including VITI1, VITI2 and VITI3) in New York City is highly recommended for all students looking to build a strong theoretical knowledge of wine and become a successful sommelier or other wine professional.
Beginners, or anyone looking for a refresher before diving into the VITI Series, are recommended to take the 6-week Foundation Course first.
Students with a strong theoretical knowledge who are looking for continued educational opportunities are recommended to take the 16-week Blind Tasting Course.
The American Sommelier Sales, Service & Buying course aims to give aspiring beverage professionals an additional set of tools ranging from decanting to building a wine list from scratch.