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Wine merchant

Alternative titles for this job include Vintner, wine trader

Wine merchants find new wines and buy and market them.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Wine merchant

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme
  • a professional course from a private training provider


You could start in the wine trade as a sales assistant for an off-licence chain, a wine wholesalers or a supermarket.

Experience and qualifications gained through the hospitality sector may be useful in this role.

Business, sales and marketing experience may also be useful.

Direct Application

You can apply directly to get into this job. You'll usually need retail experience and extensive product knowledge to be an independent wine merchant.

Other Routes

You could start work with a large wine retailer as a graduate management trainee, if you have a degree. Employers will accept most subjects.

You could also take training through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to build up your knowledge of the industry.

More Information

Career tips

The ability to speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, German or Italian might be useful for working with overseas wine exporters.

Further information

You'll find more advice about working in wine retail through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

To work as a manager, buyer or importer, you’ll usually need a UK driving licence.

For retail sales you must be at least 18 years old.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • look for potential new customers, cold call businesses like hotels and restaurants to create sales leads
  • order and display stock
  • organise promotions, including wine tastings
  • visit clients to offer advice on wines
  • in retail or wholesale venues, serve customers and take payment for goods
  • manage sales targets
  • write order quotes and keep accounts and records
  • try new wines and select new products to sell
  • follow and enforce the legal requirements for the sale of alcohol
  • recruit, train and organise staff

Working environment

You could work at a store or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become an independent wine merchant. You'll need funds and a well-researched business plan.

You could also progress to become a Master of Wine (MW). This is the British wine trader’s highest qualification.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Wine merchant right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Personal Licence Holders BIIAB

  • Start date: 26 June 2024
  • Location: Lancaster

BIIAB Personal Licence Holders Award

  • Start date: 26 June 2025
  • Location: Paignton

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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