Sommelier Training
These are the broad strokes of the path to become a sommelier.

PROGRESSION

Becoming a sommelier is a challenging and rewarding endeavor for the food and beverage professional. It is a natural progression for the server or bartender who desires new challenges, a different career path or upward mobility from their current position. Having an advanced knowledge of wine and spirits offers diverse career choices like running a wine program, working in a winery or in the sales & distribution side of the industry.

Theoretical knowledge is a necessary component for success in the world of wine and spirits, as it is for all hospitality professionals. A strong command of theory will give you the confidence to excel and set you apart from your competition for future employment opportunities. 

Start with online resources, move through the popular industry websites and begin purchasing your book collection. You will use a blend of websites, texts and industry publications as regular reading material to broaden your knowledge. Great study habits, commitment and industry experience are necessary components to becoming a great sommelier.

 
guildsomm.jpg

guild of sommeliers

The Guild of Sommeliers is a necessary resource for the aspiring sommelier. Start with the study guides and supplement with the compendium notes.

online education.jpg

online resources

Make these resources a regular stop in your wine studies!

waw.jpg

Reading material

​Growing your book collection is imperative for exam prep.

Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia 

Oxford Wine Companion

World Atlas of Wine

Wine by Andre Domine

Wine Grapes

civc.jpeg

Don't forget the appellation websites! Many D.O.'s, A.O.P.'s and D.O.C.G.'s have their own sites... and they are usually great!

 

STUDY

The saying use to be that that we studied everything that people eat, drink and smoke around the world. With cigars in the restaurant environment almost extinct, the focus is moved to a wider gaze of the alcoholic beverage universe while still possessing a commanding knowledge of fine dining cuisine. The topics listed below should be examined for each wine and spirit produced around the globe.

Geography

Ask yourself the following questions when reading about wine regions throughout the world:

  • What are the major cities, towns and villages of the region?

  • What are the mountains, lakes & rivers in close proximity?

  • Are there any influential weather patterns?

  • Regulations or laws that govern delimited areas?

Regulations

Old world wine regions are heavily regulated in comparison to their new world counterparts. Consider the following for those areas:

  • Grapes grown and styles of wine produced

  • Growing techniques, production methods & aging requirements

  • Alcohol levels, ripeness & in some cases acidity levels

  • Anything that regulates the way wine is produced and affects the taste of the final product 

producers

Producer knowledge is paramount to being a well rounded wine professional. The great names of each region should always be examined.

  • Who are the biggest names in the region?

  • What are the most expensive wines at auction?

  • What vineyards are associated with particular producers? 

  • What are monopoles?

application

The ability to communicate your knowledge to anyone, at any level of understanding is important.

  • How do I explain it to a novice or a wine collector?

  • How can we sell this to the general public?

  • How can we better train our staff on this material?

 

CERTIFICATION

The Institute of the Masters of Wine and the Court of Master Sommeliers are the premier testing organizations of the beverage world. Accreditation from these organizations provide your future employers assurance that you are professionally trained.

cms.jpg

The Court of Master Sommeliers is the premier international organization for the professional sommelier.

mw.jpg

The Institute of the Masters of Wine

The Master of Wine designation carries utility much like a college degree.

ADVANCED PRINCIPLES FOR THE PROFESSIONAL SOMMELIER

The topics below are the basic elements of running your own wine program. They can also be found in the business of wine section of CMS examinations. 

inventory

Inventory control is an essential component to running a wine program.

cost of goods sold

Understanding COGS will set you apart from your peers, as it is an often overlooked part of sommelier training.

microsoft excel

Everything from corporate P&L's to wine lists are composed in MS Excel.

P & L Statements

Understanding your company's profit and loss statement is necessary for proper business analysis.