Also known as: Head Wine Waiter, Head Chef de Vin
The head sommelier has the responsibility of developing a wine list for the lunch and dinner service, and supporting the sommeliers as they serve and sell the wine. The head sommelier will make wine recommendations suitable for all types of food, occasions and budgets.
Your day-to-day duties may involve:
• creating a wine list
• selling and recommending wine
• serving wine in the correct manner
• storing the wine correctly
• briefing team members about the content of the wine
The role of the head sommelier is crucial at a fine dining restaurant. As guests sit to order their food you will offer guidance on which wines will suit their order. You will also work closely with the head chef to ensure the wine list is compatible with the menu. As the head sommelier you will store the wine at the correct temperature, serve it in suitable glasses and present it in the appropriate manner.
Guests may ask you for recommendations from the wine list, so you’ll need to have excellent knowledge of the food being served at the event. Prior to the lunch and dinner service, you will taste the wine and food to create the wine list and make suitable recommendations. You’ll brief the waiting staff and sommeliers about the content of the wine, so they too can promote the wines and advise customers.
You will also be in charge of selling and serving liqueurs and brandies, and will liaise closely with other team members to take wine orders at the appropriate times.
If you are looking to develop your career as a head sommelier there are specialist industy bodies who can help. Advice, guidance and training is available from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the Academy of Food & Wine Service.