To win over the world of wines, one needs a breadth of knowledge, says Sommelier Gagan Sharma
“After seven years of tasting wine from all over the world I can say that though it might appear to be an easy job, being a sommelier is challenging. A sommelier in French means a wine waiter, who tastes, selects and serves wine to guests.
I was introduced to this exotic beverage in my second year of Hotel Management at IHM, Jodhpur in the subject food and beverage. However, the subject just briefly mentioned wines and moved on to cover other alcoholic beverages. Next I went to pursue my Masters from Victoria University, Melbourne which further increased my interest in wine. I finally completed my Level 2 and 3 in Wine training from WSET, London.
One must accept the fact that studying the technicality along with the history of wines produced from all over the world makes wine training a complicated process. However, don`t get intimidated with the foreign names of the wine, once you develop your palette for the variety of wines you will be a thorough expert.
This is the best time to be a sommelier in India. For a long time, Indian hotels and restaurants didn`t have sommeliers on board. Wines were just a part of the alcohol menu, with nobody to recommend the guests what they should drink with their food. But with increase in demand from guests wanting to drink their favourite wines a sommelier has become a necessity. I suggest that those interested in making a career as a sommelier must first get sufficiently trained and certified. Attend wine tasting events, develop a palette for wine and then get yourself employed or consult with leading hotels or wine companies.”
-As told to Prachi Rege