What is a Sommelier?

Traditionally, the French term "sommelier" refers to a specialized waiter at a restaurant or hotel, who is in charge of the wines.

In recent years, the term has taken on a broader meaning, as wine aficionados and intellectuals across the world have sought specialized expertise in wine—whether for professional reasons, or as an avenue to greater personal enjoyment of wine.

More than a specialized waiter, a "sommelier" today is a recognized wine expert.

Many certifying bodies around the world award "sommelier" or other wine specialist certifications to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in global wines, as well as other fine beverages, such as beer, tequila, sake and whiskey.

The best-known of these organizations are:

The Society of Wine Educators (SWE) offers "Certified Specialist of Wine" and "Certified Wine Educator" designations to wine educators.

The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) offers four levels of exams for those in restaurant and hotel beverage service: (1) the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam, (2) the Certified Sommelier Exam, (3) the Advanced Sommelier Course and Exam, and (4) the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) provides education and qualification to professionals and enthusiasts, with four levels of recognition: the WSET Level 1 Award, the WSET Level 2 Award, the WSET Level 3 Award, and the WSET Level 4 Diploma.

Each organization and program has a slightly different focus—some for educators, some for the hospitality industry, the wine industry, or private enthusiasts. But each includes an overlapping core of essential knowledge for wine experts, such as:

  • How grapes are grown, and how wine is made
  • Grape varieties and winemaking styles around the globe
  • Laws pertaining to wine appellations, quality designations, and labelling
  • How to describe a wine, or correctly identify it in a "blind" tasting
  • How to appropriately cellar, serve and pair wine with food.

For a sommelier or wine specialist to pass a certifying exam with any of the three organizations mentioned above is a considerable achievement. At The Sommelier Company, all of our event specialist have excelled in at least one of the programs.

About the Sommelier Company

The Sommelier Company is the leading provider of Sommelier-Guided Wine Tasting Experiences for corporate and private events around the globe.

Our teams of professional sommeliers—located in every metropolitan area of the globe—have traveled the world and devoted their lives to mastering the art of wine appreciation and sharing their unique insight and passion with you and your guests.

If you're thinking of hosting a Sommelier-Guided Wine Tasting Experience, look no further! We've created thousands of events for private individuals, family gatherings, Fortune 500 company retreats, celebrities—and every type of group in-between.

To gather event ideas, get an overview of custom options, or receive a fast quote now, simply call 310 467 5582. We reply to all inquiries immediately.

For our complete event brochure, write to brochure@SommelierCompany.com.

We offer private wine tastings in a number of formats, depending on the type of group you have, and your preferences. Here are some of the most popular:

  1. Guided Tasting Stations for Standing or Walk-Around Receptions
  2. Sit-Down Wine Seminars, Focusing on Wine Essentials for Professionals
  3. Multi-Course Food and Wine Pairing Dinners with Sommelier Commentary
  4. Corporate Team Building Activities with Wine—For example, our famous "Blind Tasting" Workshop and Competition, or our Wine Blending Workshop
  5. In-Home or In-Office Wine Parties with a Special Expert Guest

No matter the format, you can't beat The Sommelier Company for a seamless, top-quality professional wine event. We only hire experienced wine professionals, with a strong background in presenting wines in an educational and entertaining way for audiences of all levels of interest and experience.

Our event planning team, located in our Southern California office, handles all the logistical details, so you can relax and enjoy the event alongside your guests.

Some of Our Most Popular Wine Event Themes:

  • A Guided “Blind” Tasting of Global Wines
  • A Guided Comparison of Old World and New World Wines
  • A “Tour Around the World” of the Most Important Global Wine Styles
  • The “Essentials of Food and Wine Pairing"

We also offer expertise in other fine beverages, such as whiskey, tequila, cocktails and mixology—and delicacies from around the world, including cheese, chocolate, charcuterie, coffee, honey and tea. Fine cigars and live cigar-rollers are also a popular add-on option, for after the main tasting experience.

To discuss your event with an expert from our team, call 310 467 5582. We'll walk you through all options and provide an immediate quote.

For our complete event brochure, write to brochure@SommelierCompany.com.

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We also consult with private wine collectors, restaurants, hotels and resorts. For outsourced cellar management, expert wine appraisals, rare wine sourcing, or other special wine consulting assignments, write to HQ@SommelierCompany.com.

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