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Feb 22, 2007 07:05 AM

SOMMELIER, are they an Angel or Devil? [moved from W. Canada board]

just curious

how offten do you actually need the sommelier to pick out the wine for you?

and how do i know that he/she is certified sommelier?

i mean do we actually need a Sommelier these days?

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  1. If they are certified, they will possess a small pin worn on the lapel or tie from the International Sommelier's Guild. This is the indicator that they have taken their training and passed their certification requirements.

    Also, a good sommelier is not "picking out the wine for you" but instead suggesting suitable options for each price point based on the criteria you, the diner, has given them.

    Necessary? For serious wine programs, yes, absolutely.

    I love the personal touch and professionalism it brings to a dining experience.

    1. Certified Sommeliers are worth their weight in gold. Not only are they an essential part of making a great meal better, but i agree with FF that they contribute a lot to the overall dining experience.

      I personally would say i am moderately familiar with wine, and yet, keeping track of thousands of flavour profiles, and appropriately matching it to the food being served is a definite art. Why take chances? I also found one side benefit is after providing the sommelier with detailed information about your likes and dislikes, they will stand by their recommendation. If you don't like the pairing (or the wine itself), they generally replace it with a second recommendation. They also help you avoid corked wines, which can often be an expensive argument (yes it is, no it isnt, etc).

      Non certified sommeliers? I'd rather do it myself.

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          1. A restaurant Sommelier will usually be paid considerably more hourly than the wait staff, and will also receive a percentage of the gross revenues, like a guaranteed gratuity.

            Keep in mind that many sommeliers only work on the floor of a restaurant on the busy evenings, maybe to a maximum of 3-4 shifts per week, allowing them to have another position as well. They are specialists who have specialized hours, unless they are also acting as manager for their restaurant, a fairly common arrangement as well. Some sommeliers also work for more than one restaurant.