If you love wine, it may have crossed your mind how nice and tempting it’d be to leave your current job and simply become a wine expert. To become one, however, takes more than just sipping wines. You need to exert effort, study, and perhaps even shell out cash, too, to have that accolade attached to your name.
There are a few things you have to know first about wines before you can even go about rating and talking about this craft. More than a hobby, it’s a skill that’s learned before immersing yourself in it.
So, if you love wine and you want to take it one step higher by becoming a wine connoisseur, here are six tips to help you achieve such:
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1. Go To A Wine School
There are wineries offering wine tasting sessions as a part of their tour. You may have already gone through so many in the past, locally and internationally, if you love traveling. You’ve surely gotten a lot of information and knowledge already from that exposure. While it’s enough to form the foundation of your love for wine, it’s not enough to consider you a wine sommelier or connoisseur.
To be a wine expert, it’s a must to go to a national wine school or take wine courses. This allows you to have an opportunity to undergo intensive learning and training to have on your belt. Restaurants consider it an advantage to have a sommelier onboard their team as it’s easier to upsell expensive wines to customers.
There’s no substitute for all you can learn from going to a wine school. With that said, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYCcYkCKl8E to give you a brief background on what to expect from your online wine school.
2. Get A Job In The Restaurant Industry
While you’re completing your wine courses, it’s a good idea to also get a job in the restaurant industry on the side. Or, if you’re an entrepreneur, open a restaurant business. One of the best ways to learn about wines is from inside the industry itself. This gives you that hands-on experience, on top of your lessons in a wine school.
Of course, if you don’t have any experience yet in the restaurant industry, you have to be willing to start from the bottom. That’s still a good start, though, which is better than no experience at all. In fact, you may even be surprised at how much knowledge about wine the servers already know about.
3. Expand Your Network
Connections matter, not to take shortcuts to the wine industry, but so you can have valuable wine-related knowledge on your plate. There’s nothing better than learning from the experts themselves, especially those who’ve established their names in the wine industry.
If you have friends who also love wine, go out with them from time to time. Who knows, you might just be able to have that personal mentor who can walk with you through this journey. Those are experts who can give you insights and opinions, of which you can trust and respect.
4. Read As Many Wine Books As Possible
If going to a formal sommelier school is something too expensive to do right now, a good alternative is to read as many wine books as you can. There’s so much you can learn from books written by the experts themselves. Remember that books have gone through a stringent process of research, editing, and fact-checking before they’re published. So, you have that assurance that what you’re reading is facts.
Along with reading books, make use of whatever resources you can find on the Internet. For as long as you screen and choose your resources wisely, you’ll also be able to find many good sources to learn from on the Internet. You aren’t just limited to those you can read, but there are videos to boost your knowledge as well.
California, in the United States, Naples, in Italy, Bordeaux, in France—these are only three of the many wine destinations across the globe. You can learn a lot from traveling too, with the exposure you can get from those wineries around the world. Different wineries and countries each have their own preferred tastes and flavor, so there’s a lot for you to immerse in.
There are brilliant opportunities you can gain from travelling to taste and learn more about wine that you won’t have elsewhere. Likewise, those travels can help you spark good conversations with your customers. They can trust you more when you’ve physically been in those wine regions as a well-traveled sommelier.
Moreover, when you travel to various wine destinations, make it a point to bring home a bottle or two. This helps you build your own collection as a wine expert. Particularly if you want to start a business or a restaurant, this wine collection is a must-have.
6. Buy A Case Of Wine A Week
Buying a case of wine per week can be expensive, especially when you need to have that perfect balance between cheap and expensive wines. And, note, too, that it’s not for you to drink the whole bottle. You only need to take a few sips, so you can make your own notes about each type of wine from every region.
When you start this early with buying a case of wine each week, you’re also slowly building a collection. This, you can add on top of the wine you can collect from your travels, as discussed above.
If buying wine regularly is something that’s way out of your budget, be strategic when you’re invited to parties. If wine is served, take a sip from the different options available. Take notes, too. It only takes a little bit more effort for you to be updated with the latest events in your local area, so you can have a free taste of wine.
The tips above are only some of those which can help you earn that special designation as a wine sommelier or wine expert. As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into becoming one. You have to be willing to learn, work, sip, and even sip more before you can distinguish one wine from another. As a wine expert, you can help restaurants choose which wine is best to serve with certain dishes, train the staff in everything related to wine, and perhaps even start your own cellar collection and winery.