Sometimes we can confuse the term sommelier with that of winemaker, but the truth is that, no matter how much they belong to the same field, they are two totally different jobs. It is easy not to differentiate them: both professions are related to wine and, of course, for both of them it is necessary to have a significant degree of knowledge on the subject. But that does not mean that we should mix concepts.
To solve all the doubts about it, we are going to analyze what each of them is about Let us start!
What are the differences between a sommelier and a winemaker?
In order to find these differences, it is best to first define each of these professions. Once we know what each thing is, we can make clear what their differences are.
What exactly is a sommelier
Sommeliers are specialists in wines who are mainly dedicated to recommending them, whether in restaurants, hotels, events … Their psychological and empathic gifts, in addition to their knowledge about the product, make these professionals complete specialists in the sector. Likewise, they are usually very curious people with a great capacity to communicate, in addition to doing so with the utmost sensitivity.
These are professionals who have tasted hundreds of wines, and know each and every one of their characteristics … And that is precisely why they are able to recommend the best ones to the customer at all times. And not just the best wine in general, but also the one that best suits their particular tastes and preferences. In addition, of course, to detect the best pairing to accompany it.
What exactly is a winemaker
The winemaker is a technical advisor who directs the wine-making process. That is, the specialist in the winery. They can also take care of the vineyard, deciding when to harvest the grapes or the treatments that each crop needs. Ultimately, they determine how the wine is to be made so that it is the best possible.
Differences between the two
Once these concepts are defined, we can already decipher the differences between one and the other. A sommelier maintains contact with the end customer, advising him and presenting him with the best option. Oenologists or winemakers are related to the previous step before all this: they are in charge of the work in the winery or the vineyards, who also treasures great knowledge of the sector, but applied to the correct elaboration of wine. They are not workers as such, but rather the ones who direct the work and make the decisions; for example, what treatment the grapes receive, what fermentation and aging they will have, and so on.
The fact that there are differences between these professions does not mean that someone cannot make a living with both, since they are closely related. Of course, a good winemaker can recommend wines, and a good sommelier has knowledge of vine growing. A good training in gastronomy in a degree, such as the one we offer in our gastronomy university in Spain, would be enough to be able to train to be one.
As you can see, the world of wine is very broad and is full of different specialties and professionals. It is clear that sommelier and winemaker are two different jobs, but they complement each other perfectly. After all, both have to do with the subsequent enjoyment of wine; first, because at the time of production it is important to take care of every detail and second, because each person has particular tastes and preferences, and it is important to know that not all wines are perfect for everyone.