A day in the life of a Sommelier

Sommelier is French for wine waiter or steward but the day-to-day duties of a modern day sommelier are much more complex than simply pouring wine. A sommelier will source and procure wines and stemware (glasses) fitting for their restaurant and clientele, manage and rotate cellar stock profitably and provide expert advice to patrons on their wine selection. A sommelier will normally have a broader focus than wines alone, sourcing beer, spirits and other beverages for the drink menu which expands the role enormously considering some city restaurants feature lists in excess of 500 wines alone. Working alongside the chefs a sommelier will pair and suggest wines that best complement each particular food menu item. For example, a seafood restaurant wine list would most likely feature a good selection of sparkling and white wines, and lighter reds as this is normally what most people would choose to match the menu. A good sommelier is ahead of emerging trends in food and wine which encourages the perception that they are contributing to the trend. A sommelier may also be responsible for the delivery of wine service training for the other restaurant staff. The sommelier has a responsibility to work within the taste preference and budget parameters of the patron and should ensure that the wines he or she recommends enhance the flavours and make the dining experience memorable. A skilled sommelier will ensure the wines are opened and served correctly and will assess wines for taints and other problems. Sommeliers play a key role in restaurants and can greatly enhance a restaurant's operation and reputation. While a well considered wine list may not be the hero of a dining experience over an excellent chef or enviable restaurant views, it certainly refines the occasion.

A sommelier should have a broad knowledge of local and international wines, with an understanding of the best regions, Champagne houses, Châteaux’s and outstanding vintages and ensure their wine list has a good representation of a wide selection of wines. Many sommeliers develop their skills through a passion for wine and time spent working with wine and food. Others travel extensively to wine regions to try new wines, add depth to their knowledge and find the hidden gems which make their wine list interesting and unique. More recently a number of education opportunities have become available to those seeking a career as a sommelier. Today in Australia a sommelier has access to online casinos various levels of education and awards to nurture their passion and dedication.

Next time you find yourself staring at a wine list wondering which wine will best suit your ballotine of rabbit, foie gras and capocollo with ginger bread, pumpkin and a pomegranate dressing, catch the eye of the sommelier and let him take you on a wine journey that will escalates your meal to a breathtaking level.

The big Aussie red

Australian wine writer Max Allen wrote an interesting article in the Weekend Australian Magazine July 4-5, 2009 on the influential wine critic Robert Parker Jr of the Wine Advocate publication. Parker is widely known for his penchant for the "big red", with lashings of ripeness and oak thrown in. Over the past decade Parker embraced the big blockbuster style coming out of several South Australian wineries and gave them near or perfect scores in the Wine Advocate. Naturally enough this lead to a surge in popularity and sales for these Australian wines and as a consequence many other Australian wineries followed suit. Australia developed a reputation for producing monster Shiraz and for some time enjoyed the benefits of the huge popularity of this style. As Max Allen stated in his article, times have changed and consumers have turned away from the big over-oaked style of Shiraz, instead looking for elegance and greater fruit expression in their wines. Unfortunately for Australian wineries, the once beneficial reputation they earnt for producing big red wines has stuck despite a strong local trend towards producing more fruit driven wines. Many global wine consumers are not aware that Australia actually produces a diverse range of red wine styles so Australia is currently at risk of being considered a one trick pony.

To overcome this opinion may be a long journey for the Australian wine industry. There are plenty of wineries producing fantastic wines which definitely do not fall into Robert Parker Jn's big red style however we need to get the message out to the rest of the wine drinking world.

Tallis Wine staff picks



Tanya Caruana Aka: T2, TC, Ninety nine, Sporty!

Official title: Business Operations

What she does: T2 pretty much keeps us in order, writes office procedures in her sleep and ensures anything that can move in the office has a label and a home.

Favourite Tallis Wine: Dookie Hills Viognier 2007

Why: I think the Viognier is stunning when I’m drinking it chilled with spicy takeaway noodles (the ones that come in a box), preferably on a Friday night with friends. I always have a bottle on the go in the fridge.

What do you eat it with: My family’s current favorite meal request is Gnocchi Livorno – I have never online casino actually had a recipe for this I ate it once in a restaurant and created it myself! You can find the recipe in the recipes page of the blog.


Andrea Graham Aka: Ang, The Stunning Redhead!

Official title: Sales and memberships

What she does: Andrea does a superb job keeping in touch with our Tallisman members. She also packs up and sends your wine orders ensuring they arrive in tip top condition.

Favourite Tallis Wine: Shugg’s Folly Sparkling Viognier

Why: Alex & I just love to sit on our verandah with a bottle of the Shugg’s Folly. The paddocks we overlook change throughout the year but we enjoy the sparkling all year round. Summer is the best when the bottle has been sitting on ice. Oh the flavour is devine.

What do you eat it with: A platter of anti-pasto as we watch the world go by. Have you tried it with native hibiscus flowers in the glass? That’s a treat. We devoured many of these celebrating my mother’s 70th birthday. I can’t wait to take this wine to Brazil in October to celebrate my brother’s wedding.