Is a sommelier important in a restaurant? Explanation by Paolo Basso

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The importance of a sommelier in a restaurant

The recent "lockdown" clearly showed that what we were missing from a restaurant was not only the food but also the pleasure of going out, being with friends and family, just simply enjoying the way of life.

The sommelier, in addition to possessing the technical skills related to his field, is a hospitality professional in the broadest sense and plays a key role in the mechanism of customer loyalty.

The sommelier also plays an essential role in optimising sales and therefore also in managing the stock. Thanks to the sommelier, the cellar stock has a regular rotation. This means that the wines will not go beyond their ageing potential making them non suitable for sale in the restaurant.

This optimised cellar management is directly reflected upstream in the equilibrium of the wine market. A sommelier is able to offer all appellations, even the ones that are less known and wines from smaller producers. The latter do not have the means to do marketing and suffer in this market where communication is becoming more and more important and decisive for sales.

Clients need help and the sommelier is there to assist and support them. The sommelier reassures the customer, makes them happy and at the same time develops sales that are beneficial for the restaurant and the customer.

This is the sommelier's mission: to reassure the customer, make him happy customer, and at the same time ensure that his employer is also satisfied.

Paolo Basso, Best Sommelier of the world in 2013

Paolo Basso is an Italian-Swiss sommelier and one of the six sommeliers in the world who has won the titles “Best Sommelier of Europe” in 2010 in Strasbourg and “Best Sommelier of the World” in 2013 in Tokyo. In 2018, he was awarded the Doctorate Honoris Causa for his commitment to teaching wine knowledge.

After his classical career in restaurants, his passion for wine led him to extend his professional horizon by lecturing about food and wine in events and colleges such as Glion Institute of Higher Education and Changins Wine School. He is also a consultant for wine selections and collaborates in promoting Swiss wines with the organization Swiss Wine Promotion.

He is a member of the jury in various tasting competitions and he regularly collaborates with several professional magazines such as Sommeliers International and Civiltà del Bere (ITA). He is also a member of the technical committee of the “Association de la Sommellerie Internationale “ (ASI), the organization in charge of the international sommelier contest.