There’s a lot of people in Colorado who love to drink wine.  As a matter of fact, many wine enthusiasts are turning their passion for wine into a career as a sommelier.  

A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.  A sommelier may also be responsible for the development of wine lists, and books and for the delivery of wine service and training for the other restaurant staff.   Working along with the culinary team, they pair and suggest wines that will best complement each particular food menu item. This entails the need for a deep knowledge of how food and wine, beer, spirits and other beverages work in harmony. A professional sommelier also works on the floor of the restaurant and is in direct contact with restaurant patrons. The sommelier has a responsibility to work within the taste preference and budget parameters of the patron.

But not only does becoming a sommelier satisfy your passion for wine, it pays pretty well too!  According to the most recent poll by the Guild of Sommeliers Salary Survey of 2014, the average salary for a Master Sommelier is $150,000 compared to the $78,000 for an Advanced Sommelier.


The International Wine Guild has a robust chapter located in Denver offers a variety of wine education classes including a curriculum to train students to become sommeliers.

According to the Wine Guild, this is how you become a sommelier:

How to Become a Sommelier: Step One

We encourage everyone who wants to know how to become a sommelier to attend our Level I certification Seminar. There are five diploma options, four for current professionals and one for enthusiasts, for individuals who complete the seminar, and each certification received will open up more professional and educational doors. In this state-accredited course, you will taste more than two-dozen wines from around the world, receive extensive wine education materials, and learn from a wine Master.

If you are an enthusiast, with less than 2 years industry experience, you must complete three courses to receive a professional certification. These are: (1) the Level I Wine Certification Seminar, (2) the Level II Advanced Wine Course and (3) the Advanced Wine and Food Pairing Course

How to Become a Sommelier: Step Two

Wine lovers wondering how to become a sommelier may want to take their knowledge to the next level. We recommend that individuals who truly want to know how to become a sommelier–and work in the industry–complete not only Level I, but also our Level II training.  The Level II training is a continuation of the knowledge learned in the Level I training, on a much more comprehensive level. Offered as a twelve-week course or a one-week intensive, wine enthusiasts and professionals will gain tremendous knowledge after completing this sommelier training course.

How to Become a Sommelier: Step Three

After completing the Level II training, many people feel confident in calling themselves sommeliers. However, you can never have too much knowledge when seeking how to become a sommelier. Our Level III course is an expert-level certification, which upon completion awards you with the title Guild Wine Master. This extensive program requires you to take seven courses and complete a master’s exam for each course.

While wine enthusiasts may simply take the Level I certification course, if you truly want to know how to become a sommelier, we encourage you to continue with your wine education, so that you’re not only a sommelier, but a Wine Master.

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