Larry Stone Master Sommelier, President Evening Land Vineyards
I think that sommeliers -- first of all, when I talk to them I tell them it's really that you're here to help people. You're here to enjoy people and help them, and if you don't enjoy that, then you shouldn't be in this profession, no matter how good of a wine taster you are. You should be maybe in a retail profession or be an enologist, but you shouldn't really think of being a sommelier.
A sommelier should be someone who enjoys helping people celebrate great occasions, enjoys reaching out to them, and learning from them what they have to offer, and to really want to create an environment where people, when they come to you for a great occasion, or when they come to you for a business dinner, you can communicate with them.
That's the most important part of being a sommelier is to be able to communicate with people, to find out what they need, and to provide them with something that exceeds their expectations. So that's the primary. The second thing is to know a lot about wine and food.
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