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Sommelier

Sommelier

Deliver excellent service to diners by helping them to select the right wine to complement their meal.

What's it like to be a Sommelier?

As a Sommelier, your main responsibility is to curate a wine list which complements a restaurant’s cuisine offering, and deliver excellent service and advice to customers on selecting the right wines to match their meals. There is however, a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver the perfect glass of wine.

Tasks and duties

  • Curating the wine list and keeping it up to date as the menu changes.
  • Selecting food and wine pairings.
  • Maintaining inventory.
  • Educating staff about the wine list.
  • Engaging with guests and determining which wines best fit their needs. This involves finding out which type of wine varieties they like, and what their budget is.
  • Quality assuring wines before serving in case they are corked or flawed.
  • Serving the wine, which includes using the right technique, glassware and decanting.
  • Maintaining engagement, conversation and a high level of service throughout the dining experience.
  • At the end of service, cleaning up the decanters and glasses, putting wines away, polishing glasses and decanters, and restocking bottles.
  • Studying wine, constantly tasting new producers, vintages, and regions, and attending industry events (often in your spare time).
As a Sommelier, you can choose to work in the “on-trade” as a Sommelier or Wine Buyer in restaurants or hotels, or in the “off-trade” as a sales representative or retail buyer.

What can I earn as a Sommelier?

The most common salary  for a Sommelier is between $55k and $65k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Sommelier

SEEK Learning
Most Sommeliers have, in the past, learned the skills of this trade on the job. Today there are a range of courses available where you can learn the skills to become a Sommelier. Pathways to becoming a Sommelier typically involve a mixture of on-the-job experience and education.
  1. Gain some experience working in the hospitality industry – for example, at a restaurant or a winery.
  2. Complete a Sommeliers Australia accredited education program, such as the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and/or the Court of Master Sommeliers education program, which offer a knowledge base on which to develop your working practice.
  3. If you are really dedicated to this field, you can try to achieve Master Sommelier status, which involves completing a three-part exam as part of the Master Sommelier diploma. This diploma is the highest qualification anyone can attain worldwide in the wine, spirits, and alcohol industries. Roughly only five per cent of entrants pass, so you must be very committed.

Explore hospitality qualifications

Get started in the industry with a qualification in hospitality.

Duration 18 wks - 2 yrs
19 institutions offering this qualification
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Duration 9 wks - 2 yrs
21 institutions offering this qualification
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Customer service
  • Communication skills
  • Thoroughness
  • People skills
  • Responsible service of alcohol licence
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Sommeliers rate their role?

Latest reviews from 5 Sommeliers surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Hospitality
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
The good things are you have to like drinking wine and what kind of variety of grapes of the wine, also how to explain the wine of itself and how to recommend to guests.
The challenges
Nothing
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced level Wine Spirit Education Trust
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Wine and other beverages
The good things
The opportunities to taste wines of the world and to travel extensively
The challenges
Balancing a large wine list which is attractive and cost effective.
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Public Relations
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Sommelier
The good things
Team work , lovely location, good products
The challenges
Sales , costumer satisfaction
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Catering Hotel Schhol-Sommelier
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
wines
The good things
There are so many good things about my role as a sommelier. There are few days the same as others. The first and most important is we are dealing with so many different kind of customers going from th...
The challenges
We confront different challenges in our daily or weekly role. We are not only on the "floor'during the services.The first one is to know perfectly your wine list and where every single item is located...
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Court of Master Sommeliers Certified
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Wine
The good things
Hospitality is a calling rather than a clock-in clock-out role. If you love it you will do well.
The challenges
Hours, politics, unfair pay, poor work life balance.
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Sommeliers?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Sommelier jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
15.8%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Waiters
Latest Sommelier jobs on SEEK
Vue Group
Melbourne > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Would you like to join one of Melbourne's finest restaurant destinations and be part of arguably one of the best Sommelier teams in Australia?
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LUCAS Restaurants
Melbourne > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Full-time opportunity for a Junior Sommelier to join our award winning Japanese restaurant, Kisume. Must have full Australian work rights.
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Hellenika
Gold Coast
Hellenika gold coast is looking for junior sommelier/waiter. Hatted restaurant, prestigious wine list.
Merivale
Sydney > CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs
One-hat French restaurant, manage a small team, have ownership of the wine list.
Company logo
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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