A passion for food and wine is a prerequisite for a sommelier.
"A sommelier should be interested and motivated to learn about wining and dining," says Nelson Chow, chairman of the Hong Kong Sommelier Association (HKSA). "Wine is a huge subject. Every bottle has a story.
"You need to be well-versed with different varieties of grapes, know the climate and soil where they are planted, and the vintage year."
A sommelier should be able to answer a customer's questions on the spot, he adds.
And, since a sommelier needs to pair wines with food, knowledge of ingredients and methods of cooking is also necessary, Chow says. The HKSA has set up an accreditation system for sommeliers in Hong Kong that comprises four levels - member, sommelier, senior sommelier and professional sommelier.