Do you love wine? We mean really love it. Serious wine lovers can taste the distinction between different varietals and types of wines and are willing to go through the grueling certification process of becoming a sommelier. A master sommelier can make up to $160,000 a year, although there are very few masters in the United States [source: Smith].
Even if you're not a master sommelier, a regular sommelier position comes with some interesting benefits. You get to taste some of the rarest and most expensive wines in the world, pairing them with gourmet food from the finest chefs. Some sommeliers stick with one restaurant; some move from place to place; and some travel internationally to visit popular wine-growing regions and vineyards.
If you work at a restaurant, you'll have input on the menu as you pair wines with featured dishes on the menu. You also craft the wine list and arrange tastings for the public. A seasoned sommelier may even meet with celebrities to personally choose wine for their collections. The hours may be long, and you may sometimes have to deal with know-it-all customers, but if wine is your passion, the perks of being a sommelier aren't too hard to swallow.
Author's note: 6 Careers with Great Benefits
Careers with great benefits tend to come with lower salaries, with a few exceptions. But because of the benefits and perks, the salary might not matter. As I found out during my research, most of these jobs require hard work and long hours, which is probably why they offer so many great benefits — sort of a "reward" for keeping you on the job late at night or for days at a time. But when you're doing something you love, the trade-off can be completely worth it.
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