Wednesday, 17 August 2022 10:52

Trends In the Wine Business: Job Opportunities

Written by Pamela Kindel Connors

Some of the most exciting opportunities within the job market lie within the wine industry. They represent careers which span a remarkably diverse range of talent which among them include winemaking, marketing, consulting, journalism, chemistry, and software development. It is no secret that the recent pandemic has played a very pivotal role in the landscape of the job market. This has been especially true where

the restaurant and hospitality industry is concerned. However, with this year’s surge in getting back to a newer normal we have seen things finally trend in a more positive direction. Fortunately for the wine industry several sectors are progressively returning strong again showing higher jobs potential in distribution, restaurant / hospitality, brokerage, and retail. Within these sectors some of top job opportunities include the wine sales consultant, sommelier, wine broker, and the wine educator.

A Closer Look at These Top Trending Jobs

Wine Sales Consultant

The position of a wine sales consultant can be found more frequently as there are multiple positions employed within most companies, and they typically require minimal experience. The sales consultant is required to utilize their sales ability and product knowledge to provide exceptional customer service. Through professional consultative selling, they build strong relationships and find solutions to meet their customers’ needs. They provide value to their customers in increasing sales revenue while also meeting their company sales goals.

Job Opportunities: Many jobs are found within large to small wine distributors / importers, brokers, and wine retail stores. As most of these positions start out at the entry level, there is much opportunity for promotion especially within the larger organizations. Employers invest in providing strong wine & sales training and support professional certification programs allowing their employees to build all the necessary skill sets. Consultants can work their way up the promotional ladder to include positions such as, key account sales consultant, area manager, regional manager and up to the director level and beyond. For the wine sales consultant there is an abundance of opportunity in advancement for those serious about defining their career path.


The wine sommelier hosts a wealth of wine knowledge and professional beverage service acquired through on the job experience, training, and professional certifications. They are required to maintain continuing education with the ability to recall complex information about wine types, wine pairing and tasting notes. In restaurant settings they deliver the ultimate guest experience through knowing their clientele. They recommend food & wine pairings while delivering flawless wine presentations using tableside wine service etiquette. The sommelier develops and maintains a competitive wine list and trains the staff in wine knowledge and service. In wine organizations outside of restaurants they may build and provide wine education programs and/or serve as instructors.

Job Opportunities: Sommeliers will find a wide range of opportunity working within fine dining restaurants, restaurant groups, country clubs, hotels, resorts, casinos, cruise lines, distributors, suppliers, hospitality schools, and culinary schools. Promotional opportunity coincides with the level of experience and certification. Sommeliers usually complete a professionally recognized sommelier certification program. Their study of wine is ongoing to include travel to wine producing regions, winery visits, internships, and educational conferences. One of the most highly recognized levels of wine expertise is that of the Master Sommelier offered through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Obtaining this prestigious certification opens the possibility to obtain the highest level of positions within the wine industry.

Wine Broker

In the simplest of definitions, a wine broker is a knowledgeable and skilled sales & marketing professional who serves as a liaison between the wineries they represent and distributors or importers. The broker develops strong working relationships with their wineries where they make recommendations on price and negotiate contracts. They possess excellent customer service, communication, and negotiation skills. Brokers also have an advanced level of wine knowledge and the ability to conduct wine dinners, tastings, and specialized promotional events. They typically work on a commission basis for the sales contracts they make.

Job Opportunities: Brokers can represent several different wineries, or they may work for just one company. In many cases smaller wineries find brokers to be advantageous in support of marketing their products versus the challenge of working directly with a distributor. A large number of opportunities exist working as a broker directly within the distribution sector or directly for wine suppliers looking to grow their product line. The job of a broker has expanded tremendously over the past twenty years in response to the expansive growth of the global wine industry. Successful brokers normally have prior work experience in sales & marketing for distributors, suppliers, or wine retail. They have developed advanced wine knowledge through their work, professional education, and certification programs.

Wine Educator

The wine educator teaches all aspects of wine ranging from viticulture, vinification, grape varietals, regional wines, wine laws, wine service etiquette, wine tasting, food & wine pairing, proper storage, wine sales and much more. They educate consumers and wine industry professionals through the classroom, virtual training, seminars, conferences, and special events. Educators develop wine education curriculum, content, and training program design. Most serve as wine writers and bloggers as well.

Job Opportunities: Wine educators hold the highest levels of credentials and post nominals from some of the most highly regarded wine institutions. They can work for distributors, suppliers, retailers, wineries, restaurant groups, wine schools, culinary schools, hospitality schools, and universities. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, they may choose to own their own company and work as a contractual wine educator and consultant. As the world of wine continually evolves the wine educator will continually invest in their own professional development, and wine educational research throughout their career.

A Resilient Industry

The future remains bright for the wine industry and the many diverse job opportunities within. If anything positive came out of the global pandemic, it is the fact that many individuals have taken the opportunity to access their current jobs and their career path. It has been a time of self-reflection which leads us back to the importance of investing in your wine career. There is no greater investment you can make than the investment you make in yourself and your future!

Professional Wine Job Resources

Wine & Spirits Jobs: 
Wine Jobs: 
Wine Jobs Online: 
Wine Jobs Org: 
Wine Jobs USA: 
Simply Hired: 
Zip Recruiter: 
Career Builder: 

Ready to take your wine career to the next level? Check out our series Navigating a Career in Wines & Spirits by the author of this blog, Pam Kindel Connors. You can find the four accompanying WSG Replays hosted by Pam on these topics and more on WSG Studio!

Pamela Kindel Connors

Pam is the owner of “Cuvee Consulting LLC,” a company designed to serve the needs of the hospitality and wine & spirits industry. Her mission is to help companies invest in their current talent within their organization through coaching and consulting in organizational development, leadership development, customized training, professional wine & spirits education, and certification programs.

Pam has over 30 years of wine & spirits distribution, cruise line, casino, country club, and restaurant operations experience. She has held various positions in sales, management, training & development, and human resources. Before opening her own company, Connors worked with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as a Regional HR Business Partner Director specializing in learning and development, talent management, organizational development, and mentor coaching. For eight years before her HR role, she held the State Director of Training for the Glazer’s Diageo & Moet Hennessy division, leading all sales training programs and wine & spirits education, including the CSW, CSS, and FWS certification programs.

In addition, she has also specialized as a wine & spirits educator conducting professional certification courses and seminars for trade and consumer groups nationwide. She has earned certifications through professional organizations, including the Wine Scholar Guild, Society of Wine Educators, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Bordeaux Wine School “Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux,” Wine Academy of Spain, and Court of Master Sommeliers.
She has served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Society of Wine Educators since 2017. In addition, she is an active member of the Society of Wine Educators, Wine Scholar Guild, Society for Human Resource Management, Association for Talent Development, and the Center for Executive Coaching.

The opinions and views expressed in blog posts are those of the author of the post and do not necessarily represent the views of The Wine Scholar Guild or constitute any part of its educational programs.

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