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CHAPTER 4

THE PERSONALITY AND PROFESSIONAL CULTURE OF THE SOMMELIER

Sommeliers have their individual personalities, just like anybody else. Nevertheless, when working with clients, they must conform to the professional culture of the company they work for. In this chapter we contemplate and try to understand these attitudes and behaviours. There are an infinite number of determining factors that shape our behaviour, important among them the company’s socio-economic environment, the work patterns imposed by the restaurant, the worker’s age, personal limitations and needs for self-realisation.

The sommelier employs mind and body to carry out cognitive processes such as: feeling, perceiving, memorising, concentrating, communicating and deliberating intelligently. Thanks to their personal capacities, and taking determining factors into account, the sommelier develops to a greater or lesser extent every day.

In this chapter we study the variables that could shape the sommelier’s behaviour: instincts, skills and capacities (cognitive, motor, affective), workplace attitudes, emotionality, values, character and temperament, past experiences, acquired knowledge, general culture, one’s own philosophy, customs and habits, etc. These factors cause each sommelier to act differently. However, all should be governed by a code of ethics, a set of customs and rules on which to base their behaviour and make an impression. With this in mind, we have created a code of ethics for sommeliers (set out in this chapter), accompanied by an entertaining personality test.

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