How to become a spirits expert?

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As a spirits expert, you can put your knowledge to work for spirits companies, consumers and others. Do you want to work in this promising field? Focus on the training courses to become an expert in syrup.

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What are spirits?

Spirits are alcoholic beverages produced by distilling grains, fruits or plants and having an alcohol content of more than 15%. The most famous are whiskey, cognac, rum, vodka, gin and liqueurs.

What is a spirits expert?

As the name implies, a spirits expert is a person who has extensive and specialized expertise and knowledge of spirits and alcohol.

For the product part, they can be trained to recognize aromas, flavors, styles and origins of alcoholic beverages. They are able to create original recipes, advise on the preparation and serving of drinks, and advise on food and wine pairings.

They are also experts in the market, mastering production and marketing techniques and knowing the different varieties available. For companies, an expert is useful to choose the right products from suppliers, to guarantee the storage of bottles and to promote them to customers.

Often spirits experts also have a good knowledge of wines and winemaking methods. Your first knowledge about wines and spirits usually comes from your own research and experience. In addition, you can become more professional by following a course focused on the wine and spirits industry.

Becoming a spirits expert: self-training through literature

As mentioned earlier, research is the best way to familiarize yourself with the basics about wines and spirits. The literature is rich with information, knowing that you can find :

  • the origin of each spirit;
  • production stages ;
  • the art of tasting a wine or a spirit, whether it is the glasses to use, the way to appreciate the aromas or the best associations to make.

In addition to theoretical knowledge, you will gain experience through practice.

Complete a training course in the field of spirits

Formal training in the field of wine and spirits is a way to professionalize yourself by obtaining a recognized degree. Wine and spirits schools are your best allies in obtaining a certified designation. Please note that courses vary depending on your professional goals. Indeed, some are oriented towards production jobs, while others are more focused on distribution jobs.

To ensure your training, you can choose a fairly broad path, before acquiring a specialization.

What are the courses offered by INSEEC in the field of spirits?

INSEEC is a business and management school that has developed a specialization in the field of luxury, wines and spirits. Those who want to become experts in wines and spirits can study for a bachelor’s degree or an MBA.

Bachelor’s degree in Wine and Spirits Business Management

The bachelor’s degree is a three-year degree that can be prepared in one, two or three years depending on the level of education already obtained. It is intended for anyone who wants to become an expert in the wine and spirits marketing sector. The training is also accessible to those who want to reorient themselves or acquire a specialization after a first course at the university. The content of the training is focused on the commercial development of companies working in the field of wines and spirits. To enable you to be fully operational, the course includes courses such as :

  • corporate culture;
  • business development ;
  • finance and management ;
  • negotiation technique ;
  • budget management.
  • overview of spirits
  • sommelier

In addition to the theoretical courses, the teaching methodology includes practical work, company visits and mixology.

MSc Spirits Marketing & Management

The MSc is a true specialization in the field of spirits. It is accessible to students with a Bac+3 or Bac+4. The objective of the training is to develop the managerial skills to better valorize the products offered. It gives you the basis to expand the market of the company you will work for, both nationally and internationally. To do this, the curriculum includes workshops and theoretical courses such as:

  • business plan and business creation ;
  • negotiation ;
  • legal aspects of the wine and spirits sector ;
  • wine and spirits distribution network
  • Spirits Retail & Hospitality
  • International Negotiation
  • Heritage Spirits per Category
  • In-depth understanding of traditional / heritage spirits like Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac.

This is an English-language course.

What is the salary of a spirits expert?

As aspirits expert working in spirits management, you can expect an annual salary of between €30,000 and €40,000 gross. This is the salary as an entry-level employee, but may increase with years of experience.

More information on our FAQ wine & spirits.

Updated 23 January 2024