If you’re a wine connoisseur and looking for a profession that lets you flex your muscles when it comes to wine tastings and pairings, you might consider New Zealand as your next big opportunity. When you think about “wine country,” New Zealand might not be the country you had in mind, but its Marlborough region is as rich in sauvignon blancs as any other. Winemakers from the region — and in many other wine-producing areas throughout the country — are diversifying not only the winemaking process but also our palates. New Zealand might make for a unique wine vacation, but it also makes for a great career opportunity.
New Zealand-based Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas told the local website Stuff that his country is in desperate need of sommeliers in both service and retail. “We are probably 20 years behind the rest of the world in embracing what sommeliers can do,” he said, adding that, “restaurants also need to step up and start hiring sommeliers and not just food and beverage runners.” Douglas is one of 260 Master Sommeliers in the world, and the only one in New Zealand.
It might seem like a daunting prospect to move all the way to New Zealand to start your new life as a Master Sommelier, but if you’re truly dedicated to the life of a professional wine connoisseur, there are resources available to help. New Zealand Winegrowers have announced their 2019 Sommelier Scholarship, a summit in Hawke’s Bay designed to help existing sommeliers learn more about New Zealand’s wine industry, and take you one step closer to master status.