Wine merchant

wine seller wine importer wine vendor wine specialist
Support

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

What's it like?

You would work as a buyer, importer or retail manager. You would buy wine from growers and shippers to sell in Scotland, or manage sales for a large business.

As a wine merchant on the high street, you would:

  • Order and display stock
  • Organise events such as wine tastings
  • Serve customers and offer advice on wines
  • Take payment for goods
  • Manage sales targets
  • Keep accounts and records
  • Hire, train and manage staff

It would be improtant to understand and follow the legal rules for the sale of alcohol.

You could also become a specialist buyer or importer. You might often travel abroad to find new wines. You would:

  • Visit vineyards, and wine producers’ cellars and production areas
  • Discuss prices
  • Check production standards
  • Build relationships with producers
  • Comply with UK and EU wine laws and taxes
  • Work with wholesalers in the UK who sell to restaurants, hotels and shops

You could also operate as an independent wine merchant, finding and buying your own stock and selling it from a shop, by mail order or online. You would buy wine, usually from importers, advertise it for sale and send out orders. You might also go to wine tastings in the UK.

Working conditions

Hours

You’ll usually work 40 to 45 hours a week, which often includes evenings and weekends.

Environment

You may have to do heavy lifting and carrying and be on your feet for long periods. Although mainly office or shop-based, you may need to travel in the UK or abroad.

Travel

You may need to travel in the UK or abroad. A driving licence is often required.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Persuading people
  • Taking the lead
  • Helping customers
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but most employers value a good general education including English and maths.

With a degree (SCQF level 9/10) you may be able to find a graduate management trainee scheme. 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • IT skills

You will also need

  • To be over 18 years old
  • To obtain a licence to sell alcohol such as the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders which is awarded by the British Institute of Innkeeping awarding body (BIIAB).

A driving licence is required for most jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience in sales, customer service, business and marketing.

It is possible to study for qualifications awarded by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM).

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) also has a range of courses which can help with professional development.