The wine industry has grown tremendously in the last 20 years, and with it, the number of jobs involved in the sale of wine to consumers through retailers and restaurants. Many wine sales jobs do not require a formal education, but do require individuals to be knowledgeable about wine and be able to convey that knowledge to others.
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Retail Wine Sales Consultant
A retail wine consultant or sales associate is a wine-knowledgeable individual who works in a retail shop or outlet and provides friendly and efficient service to customers in the selection of wine. A retail wine consultant promotes sales by assisting customers with suggestions and recommendations for food pairings. A wine consultant also ensures that products are stocked and attractively displayed and may assist in wine tastings. Retail wine consultants are salaried but may be eligible for commissions on the sale of selected items.
Retail Wine Sales Manager
A retail wine sales manager is experienced in the duties of a wine consultant, in addition, supervises store personnel and is responsible for inventory control and the ordering of wine from wholesalers. A manager would also be involved in all aspects of daily store operations, including handling Internet sales if the store has a website. Sales managers are generally salaried but may be eligible for bonuses or commissions based on reaching certain sales goals.
Wholesale Wine Sales Representative
A wholesale wine sales representative is an individual who works for a distributor or wine importer and calls on retailers and restaurants within a certain territory to take orders, set up displays and introduce new wines, and conduct in-store wine tastings. Wholesale wine sales representatives usually have sales quotas and receive a small weekly advance against commissions.
A sommelier is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, primarily working in fine restaurants and hotels, who specialises in all aspects of wine sales and service. A sommelier can also be responsible for the creation of the wine list and work closely with the head chef in the procurement of wines that will best complement dishes on the menu. A sommelier's main responsibility is to suggest and serve wines that best fit the taste preference and food selection of the patron. Most sommeliers are salaried and may receive commissions.
Private Wine Consultant
A private wine consultant is someone who knowledgeable about food and wine and is experienced in providing wine for events and private parties, working closely with caterers. A private consultant might also be involved in wine cellar stocking and management. Private wine consultants usually charge a fee for their services.
Tasting Room Server
A tasting room server is a wine-educated individual who works in a vineyard's tasting room, promoting, serving and selling wines produced at the vineyard. A server should be warm, friendly and professional. A tasting room server may be required to wash glasses, organise supplies and keep track of the wine stock used for tasting. Most importantly, a server should know when to tell a customer they've had too much to drink. Wine servers are usually salaried, but may receive commissions based on the sale of certain wines.
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