I must admit that wine is my passion, being the gateway to an extraordinary world of flavors and aromas to be shared with great people from across the world. Being a sommelier means having first and foremost, respect for nature, life and people, creating excellent sensory experiences around the most common of events, a shared meal. In the world of the sommelier business, women continue to be a rarity.
Who is a sommelier, but a specialist in the field of history, culture and sensory depictions with strong business sense. To become a professional sommelier requires many years of dedication and hard work fueled by the desire to be the best and create the best experiences for people, transforming the mundane to the exceptional.
A sommelier has the greatest respect for wine and the process and love that creates these great and varied products which throughout history have brought out the best in company and culinary experiences.
Although the stereotype of a pompous person sticking a nose in the glass, slurping, sniffing and spitting still exists, the profession is quickly changing to one of history, stories and pairing to bring the best from what some people take for granted. The profession is more about education and interactions, rather than elitism; and focused more on experiences that snobbery.
Contrary to common knowledge, the blind tasting of wines can be learned through systematic training of our sense of smell. The best way to begin is to focus on the smells permeating all culinary experiences, from seasonal fruits, vegetables, even to tobacco and soils. These common fragrances are a great way to begin your training to be a professional sommelier.
According to global statistics, women are buying more than 70% of wines consumed in the household, have better equipped sense of smell and pay attention to more details and nuances in the wine. Woman choosing wine think about “us” not “I”. They do not choose the wine for points and medals, but in order to fit the occasion or prepared dishes, so everyone can enjoy it.
Woman generally feel more comfortable to ask for advice in a specialist wine shop, seeking to know more about wine purchased to create the best culinary experience. Women and also more interested in them educational aspect of wine hence they are generally more inclined to experiment with and select wines from the new unfamiliar appellations. Red wines growing in popularity amongst women are Malbec and Tempranillo, while among whites Sauvignion Blanc is still very popular study shows. Statistically, women often also reach for the sparkling wine more than their male counterparts.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said “He who does not take a risk does not drink champagne”. So do not be afraid to risk and learn about the variety and bounty of the grape and always work to bring the best to the people you meet around the table.