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Is a sommelier important in a restaurant? Explanation by the Swiss-Italian Paolo Basso, elected "Best Sommelier of the World 2013".

As a luxury wine hotel, The Yeatman, facing Porto, takes on the place of an embassy for the best national wines. The secret is well kept in its award-winning wine cellar, which has one of the most complete and diverse collections of Portuguese wines. Its wine selection offers the gastronomic component the perfect complement, where the sommelier appears as the secret weapon of this experience.

About twenty years ago I led a group of sommeliers from the USA on a tour of Rioja wineries and restaurants.  During our visit to one of the area’s top restaurants – sadly closed today  –  to show these sommeliers how wine and food pairings are decided here, I asked the head waiter, who was also the sommelier, how diners chose which wines to order with their meal. He replied, “Older locals always choose their favorite Rioja before ordering the meal.  Younger locals and visitors from other parts of Spain and those from abroad choose the food first and then ask for recommendations about pairings. The older locals will always choose a Rioja but the others are willing to experiment, even with wines from other parts of Spain.”

South Australia is indisputably Australia’s wine state, producing 50% of all bottled wine and 80% of premium wine. It makes sense then that some of Australia's best dining experiences are found in Adelaide, one of the Great Wine Capitals of the world. 

The importance that gastronomy and wine have gained today has led to reassess its service and management. They are key points that imply the professionalization and training of all the staff involved. Just as chefs create original dishes, beverages are the domain of sommeliers. They are in charge of proposing an attractive offer that enhances the menu and meets guests’ expectations. Sommeliers are also responsible for its management in optimal conditions, as well as for advising and serving guests for them to have an unforgettable and pleasant experience. The other side of their service is to generate income from sales and build customer loyalty through careful attention and advice.

 

In Porto region there is a wide range of wine and tourism courses, offering different levels of expertise, thus serving every type of student’s profile, from those looking for becoming professionals to those just aiming for self development and recreation.

Universities and Institutes offer several courses corresponding to first, second and third cycles of studies leading to undergraduate, graduate or doctorate degrees.

To discover some of the available offers, just browse through their websites.

The University of Verona offers both undergraduate and graduate programs which cover multiple aspects of the wine sector.

CHANGINS educational institution is Switzerland national center of excellence on viticulture and enology training. This one of its kind establishment dispenses 4 branches focusing on those fields as well as economics and management.

Cape Town and the Cape Winelands offer various wine courses delving into the wine industry history and mastering the art of winemaking while learning about the developing wine industry of South Africa. The wine industry is complex and multidisciplinary and it demands a specialised approach.

 

The 18 wines regions of Adelaide, South Australia are home to over 50% of Australia’s wine grape production, and over 80% of Australia’s premium wines are produced in South Australia. It’s no wonder that the University of Adelaide is the most renowned school for winemakers and viticulturists in Australia.

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