The Sommelier is the club’s resident wine expert who puts the finishing touches on a well-rounded wine list and wine program.
Discovering new wines and fine spirits are often a key part of the club culinary experience. The sommelier is hired to advise both the staff and the members on how to best select and enjoy today’s most delicious vintages. (See What Is a Sommelier and Does Your Club Need One?)
After years—if not decades—of in-depth training and certifications, a sommelier becomes a master of the wines of the world. In many cases, the sommelier often specializes in craft beer and spirits as well and can pair a wine and drink list with each menu. Perhaps most impressively, you’re likely to find these wine experts both in the kitchen and on the dining room floor.
The club sommelier may take a managerial position by working hand-in-hand with the executive chef and Food and Beverage Manager. In this role, they may:
- Help negotiate wine prices with vendors
- Pair a wine list with a weekly or seasonal menu
- Educate staff on new wines
- Assist in the storing of both opened and unopened bottles
- Adjust the wine list based on member preferences
- Host wine events and dinners
- Organize vineyard tours or trips
Out on the floor during wine service, the sommelier can be found chatting with members on the best wines to pair with their food selections. They often open and pour the wines as well, adding helpful facts about the profile and origin of the wine so it can be fully enjoyed.
Many clubs also throw wine dinners, in which case the sommelier collaborates with the chef to acts as co-hosts of the evening. Some may present educational evenings on new wines or seminars on pairing wines with food.
Above all, the sommelier ensures that a club is keeping up with today’s wine trends to create the best member experience. Their unique knowledge of how to serve, purchase, and store wine allow a club to elevate their dining experience for both the new and experienced wine enthusiasts.