Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What it takes to become a Sommelier”.

by Aug 6, 2021Eccentric Somelier0 comments


As the grapes grow richer, so do the bottler and buyer!

Wine is an investment, my dear readers. Never forget the long game!

Now, for some advice you folks have solicited:

Sommelier Ferdinand,

I want to be a sommelier, like yourself. I have the respect for fine wines, but I don’t know if I have the dedication. Did you ever have a moment when it became clear you should become a wine expert? –Robert

I appreciate it, Robert. The truth is: to be an expert in fine wine, you need tremendous respect for the art.

What we do is like metallurgy; we take the finest material from the Earth, and we present it to our fellow man. The only difference is that metallurgists have numbers and instruments, whereas all we sommeliers have is our bodies—so we need to give it all our passion to truly understand fine wine.

I found my passion in Tuscany, when I was thirty-five. At a training seminar, in fact. But it wasn’t wine that I fell for. Her name was Matilde. On day two of our weeklong course, she caught my eye. And being the most talented sommelier there (naturally), I brought her to my side.

Matilde swept me off my feet. It was passionate, rich; everything my underdeveloped tongue longed for from a glass of red, in fact. After a few days, it became clear: I’d stopped caring for the seminar—she had nearly displaced wine in my heart!

Around day thirteen she brought up the idea of eloping. Everyone knew that day thirteen was a crash-course on international light wines. If Matilde wanted to see the world with me so bad, why not attend class that day?

How could I let myself drift so far from the grape? If I’d considered skipping day thirteen, for even a millisecond, clearly something had gone wrong, right?

She sensed my hesitation, and that was that. She skipped seminar that day. Sommelier Ferdinand hasn’t seen her since.

Tuscany, 1986. I came into it a full-bodied, spirited man. But Matilde split me in two, and I left that naïve half in Tuscany. I believe that Wine gave me Matilde as a test; a siren to drag me away from my sommelier path. But I saw my future customers, wine buyers, restauranteurs—staring back at me, waiting for a drop of red…

It truly was an affair to remember. But, should you want success, Robert, you’ll need more dedication than Matilde. If she savors wine nowadays, it’s at the local café once or twice a week, between bites of cake. I, on the other hand, have given wine my all. Because I know true love when I see it.

-Sommelier Ferdinand. 12.7.21

Explore More from Our Blog

Alti Wine Exchange Indexes: 2022 overview and outlook for 2023

Sergey Glekov Senior financial analyst The Alti Wine Exchange Indexes are a family of equal weighted indexes which trace price performance of fine and rare wines and shows equal weighted average returns on them. The indexes are subdivided by most important wine...

Alti Wine Exchange Indexes: 2021 overview and trends for 2022

Sergey Glekov Senior financial analyst The Alti Wine Exchange Indexes are a family of equal weighted indexes which trace price performance of fine and rare wines and shows equal weighted average returns on them. The indexes are subdivided by most important wine...

They have created the perfect storm for controlled demolition of money

I’m glad to be back talking financial insights, one glass of wine at a time. First they shut down the economy, to save lives. With the closure of the economy, production ceased. To compensate for non-production or reduced production, people were paid not to lose...

Spanish Cava Sparkling Wine: What You Need to Know!

Spanish Cava Sparkling Wine: What You Need to Know!

What is a Port Wine?

DEAR READER, Let’s start February off with a simple question: Good morning, Mr. Ferdinand, What is a Port wine? -Jacques Thank you, Jacques, for your brevity. Let’s get down to business! Ports are an underrated, very particular type of wine made in the Douro Valley,...

What to Expect for Fine Wine Investments in 2022

Let’s face it, between an ongoing COVID pandemic, erratic markets, fires, floods and major humanitarian crises, 2021 was exhausting. And though none of us can be sure what to make of 2022, we can say with confidence that fine and rare wine investments are looking...

Holiday Gift Guide for Fine Wine

It’s that time of year again! And so begins the search for the perfect holiday gift. Something unique, something that shows you truly care. How about a gift that keeps on giving? An investment. Imagine their surprise when you tell them that their gift is resting...


DEAR READER, As I grow immensely in popularity, I’ve noticed more of you interested in my personal life. I didn’t begin e-blogging with this in mind, but I don’t mind indulging every now and then. I imagine my intellect intimidates a lot of you, so maybe shedding some...

The Truth about Fine Wine

Fine wine. What does that really mean? The truth is, as words, they don’t mean much. There is no official classification system for the title “fine wine.” It’s not like the regulated usage of “Premier Cru” or “Grand Cru Classé,” for example, rather anyone can throw it...

Maipo Valley Reds

DEAR READER, I am again-and-again charmed by my readers’ curiosity! It reminds me of being a young sommelier, ready to take on the world one glass at a time. I know far too much to feel that way again—but at least I can experience a shred of it through you all! Dear...

Liquid Harmony

Harmony. Think Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Think Picasso's The Old Guitarist. It’s that moment when various elements come together to create magic. And magic really is the word, no? Wine can also sip in harmony, and I can think of no better example than the...

Where Does the Phrase “Aging Like Fine Wine” Originate?

DEAR READER, I received this charming question from an inquisitive reader last week. Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, Where does the phrase “aging like fine wine” originate? It’s so fun! -Imani I just love your question! What a lively spirit you have, Imani! I’m more of a...