How to become a sommelier

By the Sommelier AIS Chiara Bassi

I have collected all my study notes on this educational page, with the aim of sharing my years of study and work and helping all aspiring sommeliers who wish to realize their professional path and become a sommelier. Here you will find all the guides and articles you should read to acquire the oenological skills necessary to pass the AIS exam and become a Sommelier. However I also thought of this guide for all wine lovers who want to learn the first basics of wine tasting and food and wine pairing who, for time or money, today do not want or cannot attend a more demanding course. To write these contents I have been studying and studying for years, I have attended all the splendid (and expensive) AIS courses up to obtaining the professional qualification of Sommelier, I have spent many sleepless nights until my hands ache to complete, reorganize and make them beautiful and easy to memorize ... and all this to help you in your training path.

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DISCLAIMER. If you are looking for an online course to become a professional sommelier you are not in the right place. A good online course aimed at carrying out the profession DOES NOT EXIST. To become a professional sommelier it is essential to attend the course of a serious association (such as, in my case, theAIS), take advantage of the experience of qualified speakers, discuss with other aspiring sommeliers, study at home on the splendid textbooks. However, if you are looking for a collection of notes, insights and summaries of the notions that I have studied and learned thanks to the courses, the wine blog tours I did, the events, fairs and winemakers that I had the privilege to know ... YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

index:

To make it easier for you, I have grouped articles, notes and questions into topics ... but if you don't have time or desire to read the whole guide, you can go directly to the section that interests you:

  1. THE WORLD OF SOMMELIER
  2. WINE
  3. TASTING
  4. ITALIAN WINE
  5. WINE IN THE WORLD
  6. FOOD-WINE COMBINATION
  7. NOT JUST WINE
  8. PASS THE EXAM AND BECOME A SOMMELIER

Start studying now! 💪

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Have you already bought your copy of my book HOW TO BECOME SOMMELIER?

Everything you need to know about wine in one book. The manual is designed for all aspiring sommeliers, but it is also very useful for "already sommeliers" who want to revise or for winelovers who want to start giving concrete foundations to their passion.

Do you want to prepare the sommelier exam in half the time?

The world of the Sommelier

All the secrets of an unlikely seducer

  • The world of the Sommelier: The figure of the sommelier, the requirements to become a sommelier, AIS, FIS or FISAR.

  • Winery management: Ideal environment, arrangement of the bottles, cellar of the day and wine cabinets, procurement and management of the cellar, purchases and stock rotation, sale of wine, selling price.

  • The customer is rightHow to behave with customers (restaurant, wine bar, wine shop, GDO).
  • Sommelier ToolsCorkscrew, wine basket, decanter, bucket, glacette, wine thermometer, pliers, stopper stopper, wine cart.
  • Wine service: From the cellar to the table, presentation of the bottle, presentation of the important bottle, opening the bottle, decanting, table service, priorities.
  • Service precedence: Who should you serve wine first at the table? What order do you need to perform the service with?
  • The restaurant menu: Menu setting, a la carte menu, banquet menu, themed menu, tasting menu, fixed price menu.

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How is wine made?

Viticulture

Screw

The vineyard

  • The vineyard: Quality of the vine.
  • The vineyard: Pedoclimatic environment.
  • The vineyard: Advantages of mountain and hillside production.
  • The vineyard: Cultural techniques.
  • The vineyard: Tillage and irrigation
  • The vineyard: The harvest, types of harvest (manual, mechanical), advantages and disadvantages.
  • The vineyard: How the cultivation soil affects the organoleptic characteristics of wine.

grapes

  • grapes: bunch, grape, pulp.

From the vineyard to the bottle: do you know what you drink?

oenology

The must

  • The mustWhat is must, from grapes to must, yeasts in must.
  • The must: mold and bacteria.
  • The must: Treatments for white winemaking, treatments for red winemaking.

winemaking

  • White vinification
  • Vinification in red:

The fermentations

  • Alcoholic fermentation
  • Malolactic fermentation

Maturation, aging & refinement

  • Maturation, aging & refinement: what are they and what are they for?
  • The barrique: Types of wood, how to prepare a barrique, which barrique to use.
  • Wine aging: small barrel or large barrel?

Cellar practices

  • Wine treatments: Pouring, topping up, draining, clarification, filtration, fermentation, pasteurization
  • Clarification: is gelatin better or albumin?
  • Wine fixes: Liven up the color, correct the alcoholic strength, increase acidity, decrease acidity.
  • Contains sulfites: why is carbon dioxide added?

Bottling

  • Bottling: Types of bottles, types of corks and rules of use.
  • Refinement of the wine: How does the size of the bottle affect?

Alterations, defects and diseases

Sparkling Wines

  • Sparkling wines: The classic method.
  • Sparkling wines: The charmat method.
  • Sparkling wines: The ancestral method

Sweet Wines

  • Sweet wines: Passito wines.
  • Sweet wines: The late harvest wines.
  • Sweet wines: The Ice Wines.
  • Sweet wines: The botrytized wines.

Liqueur wines

  • Fortified wines: The Port.
  • Fortified wines: The Marsala.
  • Fortified wines: Madeira.
  • Fortified wines: The Sherry.
  • Fortified wines: Aromatised wines.

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Tasting

How to shoot cagat… er recognize scents (often imaginary) and be convincing

  • The tasting: Wine analysis, tasting rules, AIS terminology.
  • The glassShape of the glass, glass and crystal, tastevin, tasting glass, glass for each wine, how to keep drinkers clean.

Visual exam

  • Visual exam: Sight, phases of visual examination, appearance of the wine.
  • Visual examination - The clarity: What it is, how to evaluate it, glossary.
  • Visual examination - Color: What it is, how to evaluate it, glossary.
  • Visual examination - Consistency: What it is, how to evaluate, when to evaluate, glossary.
  • Visual examination - Effervescence: What it is, how it is evaluated, types of sparkling wines, glossary.

Olfactory exam

  • Olfactory exam: The nose, phases of the olfactory examination, perfume of the wine, description of the perfume.
  • Olfactory exam: The world of wine fragrances.
  • Olfactory examination - Intensity: What it is, how to evaluate it, glossary.
  • Olfactory examination - Quality: What it is, how to evaluate it, glossary.
  • Olfactory examination - Complexity: What it is, how to evaluate it, glossary.

Taste-olfactory examination

  • Taste-olfactory examination: The taste, phases of the olfactory taste examination, the taste of wine.
  • Taste-olfactory examination: Taste sensations, tactile sensations, taste olfactory sensations, wine temperature.
  • Taste-olfactory examination: Composition and taste of the wine, structure, balance, intensity, persistence, quality of taste.

Evolutionary State, Harmony

  • Is the wine ready to drink?

Evaluation cards

  • Evaluation form: AIS terminology for wine tasting, AIS analytical-descriptive sheet, AIS points sheet, ONAV wine organoleptic examination sheet, AEEI wine sensory analysis sheet, UIE points sheet.
  • Point card: What is it, evaluation bands, corrective coefficients, wine score, visual examination, olfactory examination, taste-olfactory examination, harmony.
  • Glossary: What are the terms you absolutely need to know?

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Italian wine

We have come to the terrible nightmare of DOC and DOCG ... 😱

Wine in Italy

The regions in Italy

  • Abruzzo: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Basilicata: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Calabria: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Campania: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Emilia: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Romagna: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Liguria: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Latium: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Lombardy: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Walk: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Molise: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Piedmont: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Apulia: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Sardinia: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Sicily: Climate, land, gastronomy, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Tuscany.: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Trentino: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • South Tyrol: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Umbria: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Valle d'Aosta: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.
  • Veneto: Climate, soils, suitable vines, wine-growing areas, DOC & DOCG, gastronomy, key wines and food-wine combinations.

Wine in the World

Why France is France, always!

Wine in France

  • Wine in France | Alsace: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Bordeaux: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Burgundy: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Bugey: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Champagne: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Corsica: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Languedoc-Rousillion: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Lorraine: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Jura: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Provence: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Savoy: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Southwest: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Loire Valley: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in France | Rhone Valley: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

Main (other) countries where maybe you don't know that you also drink something good!

Wine in Europe

  • Wine in Europe | Austria: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Bulgaria: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Croatia: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Germany: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Greece: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Portugal: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Romania: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Russia: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Slovenia: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Spain: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Switzerland: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Europe | Hungary: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

Wine in America

  • Wine in America | USA, California: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | USA, Oregon: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | USA, Washington: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | USA, New York: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | USA, Texas: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | USA, New Mexico: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Canada: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Mexico: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Argentina: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Brazil: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Chile: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in America | Uruguay: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

Wine in Oceania

  • Wine in Oceania | Australia: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Oceania | New Zeland: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

Wine in Africa

  • Wine in Africa | South African Republic: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

Wine in Asia

  • Wine in Asia | China: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Asia | Japan: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Asia | Israel: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.
  • Wine in Asia | Lebanon: History of wine, climate, soil, grape varieties, viticultural practices, enology, key areas, key wines, gastronomy and food-wine combinations.

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Food-wine pairing

How to choose wine and make a good impression (not only in front of those who don't understand a caxxo)

The taste of food

  • The taste of food | The ingredients: Acids, water, minerals, vitamins, bitters, fats, essential oils, proteins, sugars.
  • The taste of food | Cooking: Cooking in a bain-marie, steam, boiling, foil, vacuum-packed, stewed, braising, cooking in a non-stick pan, sautéed, frying, microwave, traditional oven, barbecue, grilled, grilled.
  • The taste of food | Conservation: Refrigerator, freezer, deep freezer, drying, freeze drying, pasteurization, sterilization, vacuum packing, salted, sugared, in oil, in vinegar, in alcohol, in ferments, smoking, radiation.

Food tasting

  • Food tasting | Tasty sensations: Sapidity, acid tendency, bitter tendency, sweet tendency, sweetness.
  • Food tasting | Tactile sensations: Fatness, succulence, greasiness.
  • Food tasting | Taste sensations: Aromaticity, spiciness.

Food examination

  • Food examination | Visual exam: Appearance and presentation.
  • Food examination | Olfactory examination: Freshness and harmony, intensity and quality.
  • Food examination | Taste-olfactory examination: Evaluation of the structure, evaluation of balance, evaluation of harmony.
  • Food examination | Food-wine pairing card: How the AIS food-wine pairing form works, how to fill in the form, the graph, practical cases.

Wine tasting according to the pairing

  • Wine tasting (pairing) | The role of softness: Alcohol, sweetness, roundness.
  • Wine tasting (pairing) | The role of hardness: Acidity, flavor, tannins.
  • Wine tasting (pairing) | The role of the structure: How does structure affect the choice of wine?
  • Wine tasting (pairing) | The role of carbon dioxide (bubbles): How does effervescence affect the perception of food? And some wine?
  • Wine tasting (pairing) | The role of intensity and persistence: How does the intensity and the taste-olfactory persistence affect the pairing? What is PAI?

Food-wine pairing technique

  • Food-wine pairing technique | Types of pairing: Territorial pairing, seasonal pairing, valorization pairing, psychological pairing, pairing by concordance, pairing by contrast.

Types of foods and combinations

  • Types of food and combinations | Oil: How is olive oil made? Types of olive oil, types of olives, regions, oils produced and how to use them, seed oil.
  • Types of food and combinations | Butter, lard, margarine, lard: Production, taste, use.
  • Types of food and combinations | Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar (production, taste, use), wine vinegar (production, taste, use), rice vinegar (production, taste, use)
  • Types of food and pairings | Sauces: Roux and bottoms, mother sauces, basic sauces, derivative sauces, marinades and dressings, sauces and wine.
  • Types of food and combinations | Aromatic herbs, spices: Types, use and combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Garlic, onion, leek, shallot: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and pairings | Tubers, roots: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and pairings | Famous Compound Salads: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | legumes: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Rice: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Pasta: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Pizza: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Eggs: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Meat: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Cured meat: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Cheeses: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Barbed fish: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Crustaceans: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Clams: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and pairings | Frogs & snails: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Desserts: Types, use, combination.
  • Types of food and combinations | Chocolate: Types, use, combination.

Not just wine

Incredible: even beer, liqueurs and spirits have their dignity!

Beer

Distillates

  • The distillates | Distillation process: Preparation of the must, fermentation of the must, distillation of the must, stabilization of the distillate and optional procedures. Composition of the distillate.
  • The distillates | Service of a distillate: Glass and temperature.
  • The distillates | Tasting of a distillate: Visual examination, olfactory examination, taste-olfactory examination, Taste-Olfactory Persistence (PGO).
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Armagnac: Wine distillate of France.
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Cognac: Wine distillate of France.
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Grappa: Distilled from Italian marc.
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Rum: Sugar cane distillate from the Equator.
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Tequila: Distillate of Blue Agave from Mexico.
  • The distillates | Types of spirits, Vodka: Distillate from cereals and tubers from Russia.
  • The distillates | Types of distillate, Whiskey: Grain distillate of Scotland.

The Liqueurs

  • The liqueurs | Classification by extraction method: Types of liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Distillation liqueurs: How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Maceration liqueurs (cold method): How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Infusion liqueurs (hot method): How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Percolation liqueurs: How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Squeezing liqueurs: How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Digestive liqueurs: How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | Decoction liqueurs: How they are made, famous liqueurs.
  • The liqueurs | The bitters: How they are made, famous bitters.

The most beautiful and useful RESOURCES I have selected on AMAZON to help you study this chapter ... at the best price on the web 😉

 

How to become a sommelier

(62 customer reviews)

Everything you need to know about wine in one book. The manual is designed for all aspiring sommeliers, but it is also very useful for "already sommeliers" who want to revise, for winelovers who want to start giving concrete foundations to their passion and for sector operators who want to earn more by learning both managing the cellar of their restaurant and selling the right bottle to their customers.

II Edition: 1 December 2019 - format 16,5 x 24 cm, 430 black and white pages, ISBN 978-88-943070-8-5 [ON SALE]

I Edition: 31 October 2018, format 16,5 x 24 cm, 300 black and white pages - ISBN 978-88-943070-1-6 [SOLD OUT]

 34,00 VAT included!

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COMPLIMENTARY, only for those who buy my book on Perlage Suite, a copy of the First Collector's Edition of my Sparkling Wine Guide "500 Bubbles in 500", cover price € 25,30.

Not to be missed…

have you already bought the Moleskine Wine Journal notebook? It is extraordinary! 😍

WINE JOURNAL - MOLESKINE Raise your hand if you don't have a not too technological sommelier as a friend! Or yes, even technological but… do you want to add the beauty of paper? I am a huge fan of Moleskine, the legendary notebook that has accompanied illustrious personalities of all time! And its version dedicated to sommeliers is truly wonderful!

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