If we had to choose a drink that has been present throughout most of human history, that would be wine (because saying water would be, well, very boring). Today, we want to enter into the fascinating universe of wine to tell you about the work of winemakers, sommeliers and wine tasters. Do you know what the difference is between these professions?

Both Greek and Roman mythology spoke of the “God of Wine” and today, in the 21st century, wine is still recognized as one of the most important drinks on the planet.

Many people who enjoy this drink are not only content to imbibe but they are also interested in knowing more about it, to the point of making it part of their professional and personal life.

We will go over the 3 core professions in the wine industry: the winemaker, the sommelier and the wine taster. This article will provide an overview of what each of these professionals do within the wine making industry. 

The Winemaker:

This person is specialized in all wine production: vine cultivation, winemaking, storage and conservation. Some winemakers are also involved in marketing, but it is not typically one of their main tasks.

One of the most important tasks is to ensure that hygiene and health standards are met in the winery and to respect rules and laws of wine production.

In general, it is a professional who must have sufficient knowledge to make, supervise or direct the step-by-step production of wine.

Therefore, to be a winemaker you must study oenology. In some countries, it is taught at the university level with the degree and in other countries it is with that of senior technician. There are even countries that offer masters degrees associated in the wine industry.

Currently, one of the best characteristics of winemakers is their ability to innovate and seek new grape blends to achieve exquisite wines.

So you know, if you hear that a winery is recognized for the quality of its wines, surely there is an excellent winemaker working there.

The Sommelier:

Perhaps you have heard the French word “sommelier” in some restaurants. Like the winemaker, the sommelier also is a wine specialist, but his or her work has nothing to do with the actual production of wine.

The sommelier is responsible for recognizing the characteristics of the wine such as colors, aromas, and textures; to advise people on how to best drink wine.

The definition in the dictionary is quite specific when it says that sommelier “is the wine specialist who, in a restaurant, hotel or other establishment, recommends to diners which drink to choose according to the dish in question”.

Therefore, among the qualities of a good sommelier is a strong understanding the world’s gastronomic trends and, above all, have their own senses educated and trained to be able to detect a high quality wine. The smelling and tasting sense are the most important to a sommelier! 

Sommeliers often work as wine critics, as maître d’hôtel (the head waiter) in restaurants and hotels of a certain prestige or as advisors in wine bars and wineries.

There are also those who make their own tastings to promote specific wine brands, but we will cover that a little bit later.

The sommelier trade has become very famous lately. In fact, there are those who consider it one of the gastronomic professions of the future, due to how popular wine has become. So, as you already know, if you want to know which wine is the best wine to accompany a meal or which to buy according to your tastes, you should look to a sommelier for a great recommendation! 

The Wine Taster:

A taster is a person who tastes something to analyze the food or drink characteristics in depth. To do so you must be very attuned to the sensations that your senses perceive.

In wine tastings, there are usually 3 phases: visual, olfactory, and taste. After much practice, tasting different types of wine and making notes, a taster is able to explain how each wine is perceived and what tastes and aromas comprise a glass of wine.

Tasters are usually wine-lovers, who love to taste wine for their own enjoyment as well as for the profession. Unlike the sommelier or winemaker, to be a taster you do not need to study for this career. However, it does take a lot of practice to be able to give sound impressions about the wines being tested.

Wines are like books that tasters read and then review.

For some, tastings are a kind of a ritual, because they must be performed following a series of processes in an orderly manner to ensure that the tasting is successful.

And as in every ritual you have to take care of what is said… The tasters are famous for finding the right words to describe characteristics or sensations that seem difficult to express. In fact, the world of wine has its own vocabulary.

Do you now know the differences between a winemaker, a sommelier, and a wine taster? 

As you can see, all three are so related that it is easy to confuse them, but now you know that each one has different skills and uses these skills for specific purposes.

However, the one thing that unites them is the passion for wine.

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