The job of Sommelier

In the world of gastronomy and wine, few roles are as essential and exciting as that of the sommelier. This expert in the knowledge, selection, service and presentation of wines, not only knows perfectly the characteristics of each bottle, but also has the ability to transform a simple meal into a memorable experience.
The figure of the sommelier has its roots in medieval Europe, when nobles employed “cupbearers” to ensure that their drinks, especially wine, were not poisoned. As the wine trade expanded and wine culture became more sophisticated, the role of the sommelier evolved to include wine selection, storage and serving. In the 19th century, with the rise of large restaurants in France, the sommelier began to gain recognition as an indispensable professional in the hospitality industry. Today, its role has evolved to become a fundamental pillar in fine dining restaurants, specialty stores and wineries.
To become a sommelier, extensive training that combines theory and practice is required. Sommeliers must have extensive knowledge of viticulture, enology, world wine regions, grape varieties, and winemaking processes. In addition, they must be experts in wine and food pairing, that is, know how to combine wines with specific dishes to enhance the characteristics of both. And although we are going to focus on wine, the work of a sommelier includes a deep understanding of beers, liqueurs, mineral waters, coffees, teas and even cigars.
The duties of a sommelier are diverse and go far beyond simply recommending a wine to diners. One of the main responsibilities is the management of the wine list. This involves selecting wines that complement the restaurant’s menu, negotiating with suppliers, and maintaining a well-organized cellar in optimal temperature and humidity conditions. The wine selection should be varied, covering different regions, styles and prices, to satisfy a wide variety of customers.

One of the most visible tasks of the sommelier is to interact with customers, helping them choose the wine that best suits their tastes and the dish they have selected. This advice requires detailed knowledge of each wine, including its origin, grapes, production processes and pairings. Additionally, the sommelier must be proficient in serving techniques, such as decanting and the proper use of wine glasses.
Pairing wine and gastronomy is an art and science that sommeliers master. Pairing principles may include seeking harmony or contrast between wine and food. Understanding these principles allows the sommelier to create memorable dining experiences.
Wine tasting is an essential skill for a sommelier. During a tasting, the sommelier evaluates the wine in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. This detailed analysis goes beyond simply tasting the wine. Aromas and flavors must be identified, which can vary from fruits and flowers to spices and minerals. Tasting also involves evaluating the structure of the wine, including its acidity, tannins, body and balance.
Sommeliers must also be familiar with the evolution of wine in the glass and bottle. Some wines improve with age, while others are designed to be consumed young. These dynamics allow the sommelier to make recommendations about when and how to consume certain wines.
Being a sommelier is a profession that combines the art of service with the science of wine. Its role goes beyond simple recommendation, it is custodian of the oenological heritage and an ambassador of wine culture. Each type of sommelier brings their own specialization and passion, making the world of wine a diverse and exciting place.
The next time you enjoy a glass of wine from Bodegas Federico (Tinto Federico Roble, Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva), perfectly paired with your meal, remember that behind that experience there is a sommelier, whose goal is to make that moment truly something. special.