Sommelier Certification

SOMM is an independent board that reviews professional certifications in the wine trade.

We are a team of sommeliers and educators that develop and analyze wine education protocols for the United States. Our analysis includes offerings from the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and many excellent sommelier schools.

Seeking Excellence in Sommelier Certification

We are looking to develop and create educational protocols for the wine industry. Sommeliers have turned from a minor restaurant career a decade ago to a billion-dollar education industry today. Unfortunately, one of the problematic elements of the wine trade is that the highest credentials don’t require a college degree. Furthermore, these sommelier certifications do not conform to educational standards outlined at the local, state, and federal levels.

The lack of official oversight creates problems for graduates looking for employment. We aim to align wine education with all pertinent laws to protect students. We also seek to give sommelier schools a way to ensure their graduates have a pipeline to promising careers. SOMM provides an overview of all significant sommelier courses and certifications with a detailed review of each’s pros and cons.

In-Depth Reviews of America’s Sommelier Schools

In America, it matters less who underwrote the sommelier certification than what school the student matriculates from. Because of this, we endeavor to audit classes at every sommelier school in America. Members of our board attend courses at dozens of sommelier schools every year. They offer a detailed analysis of each school they attended. The schools are then ranked according to standard educational criteria. Each year we identify the top 10 wine schools in America. The top school was awarded the annual “Top Wine School in America” award.

Supporting Sommeliers and Wine Students

There are no national standards for certifying wine schools. Students need unbiased information to decide what wine school and certification best fit their goals. This becomes even more important as sommelier certification becomes the de facto standard for wine education in the wine trade.