Philadelphia Inquirer

Sommeliers: A rare vintage

At the five-year-old Wine School of Philadelphia, located in Fairmount, 60 students are taking sommelier courses, even though director Keith Wallace decries the profession as “the worst position on the face of the earth. At most places, they’re glorified restaurant managers, talked down to and condescended to.”

Beverage managers, responsible for all libations served, make “marginal income,” between $30,000 and $40,000 after long hours, Wallace says, “at the very top, you can make $60,000 to $80,000,” but the hours are punishing. “The wine industry itself is an amazing place to work,” Wallace says. He directs students to industry positions, advertising for a large wine company, importing, running portfolios for distributors all offering the possibility of better pay, travel, nights and weekends off. (Contrary to assumptions, there are import and distribution jobs in Pennsylvania, but only one buyer.)

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The Big Money Wine Myth

Several studies have been released recently that call into question a basic premise of wine buying. Most wine drinkers assume that the more expensive a bottle is, the better it tastes. …

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I preach this to the Wine School’s students every chance I get, but since there are readers of the School’s blog who I haven’t yet had the chance to meet, it …

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L’Oca’s Anchovies

This past week, we held the second Sommelier Smackdown catered by L’Oca, the delicious Italian restaurant across the street from the school. Also, for the second time, they provided us with …

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