A Pokémon Connoisseur (Japanese: ポケモンソムリエ Pokémon Sommelier) or Pokémon Connaisseuse (Japanese: ポケモンソムリエール Pokémon Sommelière) is a Pokémon Trainer who specializes in identifying the compatibility between Pokémon and their Trainers, much like how real connoisseurs and sommeliers identify the compatibility between wines and various foods, as well as the fine arts. They use their knowledge and experience to diagnose the bond between Trainer and Pokémon, and from there give advice on how to strengthen that bond. They can also help choose what Pokémon would be compatible for beginning Trainers who have not yet chosen their first Pokémon as seen in Clash of the Connoisseurs!.
A ranking system for Pokémon Connoisseurs was revealed to exist in A Connoisseur's Revenge!, with four different classes; S, A, B, and C, where S is the highest class and C is the lowest. Cilan is revealed to be an A-class Pokémon Connoisseur. However, Burgundy is only a C-class Pokémon Connaisseuse.
Connoisseurs refer to their most perfected Pokémon as their "premium brand" (Japanese: ビンテージ vintage), however it should be noted that the term is not used continuously in the English dub as it is in the original version and is often replaced with other lines. Pansage was revealed to be Cilan's first premium brand but Crustle and Stunfisk have also gained that status. Connoisseurs also use the term for other Trainer's Pokémon as well. In the original version of Battling For The Love of Bug-Types!, Cilan concluded that Pikachu was Ash's premium brand. Premium brand Pokémon are not limited to humans. Two Pokémon who are in love can be each others' premium brand.
- S-Class: Highest of the Connoisseur classes. They are experts and may open their own shop.
- A-Class: They are known due to their ability and they may open their own shop.
- B-Class: They are readers and may be assistants but still may not open their own shop.
- C-Class: Lowest of the Connoisseur classes. They are beginners and are typically only assistants of an A-Class or above Connoisseurs.
- Pokémon Connoisseurs are not well-known outside of the Unova region.
- Cilan claims C-class Connoisseurs are only able to work as assistants to A or S-class Connoisseurs.
- "Connaisseuse" is the feminine form of the French word connaisseur.
In other languages