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Category: Sommelier Certification

It All Starts With a BoycottWe earned the wrath of many sommeliers when we wrote the article “Time to Boycott the Court?” At the time, the CMS-A had been caught in a wide range of unethical/sexist/racist scandals, and we felt it was time to call them to account. We also criticized the Court for being […]

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The SOMM Mission
04 December

SOMM is an independent board that plays a crucial role in the wine education industry. They review professional certifications in the wine trade and develop and analyze wine education protocols for the United States. This includes analysis of offerings from prominent organizations such as the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirit Education […]

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Sommelier Courses and Education LevelsThere are four major sommelier courses available in the United States. Choosing the right one is an important first step. This article breaks down everything you need to know about your options. Of the four, WSET and NWS offer more of the classroom experience, with regularly scheduled weekly classes that culminate […]

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The Rise of Online Wine CoursesIn an age where online education is steadily becoming the norm, the sphere of wine education too, has gracefully adapted to this digital metamorphosis. Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, online sommelier courses were relatively obscure in the grand tapestry of wine education. However, as the pandemic dramatically altered […]

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In a digital age where learning can be done in the comfort of one’s home, online sommelier courses have seen a surge in enrollment. These programs offer wine enthusiasts and aspiring sommeliers a chance to deepen their understanding of wine varieties, tasting techniques, and the wine industry at large. Among the top contenders in providing […]

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IntroductionIn the world of wine, sommeliers are the gatekeepers of taste, with their expert knowledge and finely tuned palates shaping what we sip and savor. But how are these wine professionals trained, certified, and evaluated? SOMM, a leading authority on sommelier education, has released its annual review of sommelier education with insights from top sommeliers, […]

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Thanks to everyone for participating. The annual survey is now complete. To review the results, please go here: https://somm.us/sommelier-education-2023/Dear Judges,We appreciate your contribution to the world of wine education. The annual survey will take less than 6 minutes. However, your input is invaluable to us and our readership. We will send you the results of […]

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You’ll find fantastic wine coming from every grape-growing country globally, but French wine is on another level. It’s not that French wine is better than the rest (sometimes it is), but you can’t beat the tradition, lore, and history behind every French wine style and grape.France has influenced every other wine-producing country on the planet. […]

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The Top Wine Instructors in AmericaThere are a handful of wine educators that dominate wine education. They have founded the top wine schools in America and blazed trails into sommelier training. These men and women are essential to the world of wine. If you love wine, your bucket list should include taking a class with […]

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Sommeliers Speak OutAfter writing an omnibus article on the problems facing the Court of Master Sommeliers, we heard from many high-profile sommeliers who did not like how we portrayed the Court. Below are excerpts of the comments.Note: We removed many of the ad hominem attacks from their statements. We also edited comments for clarity and […]

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This article was updated in October 2020 to reflect new reporting by the New York Times that reveals troubling accounts of sexual violence within the Court of Master Sommeliers of America (CMSa). Several CMSa members have spoken up to defend the institution; we have given them their own page here: Sommeliers Speak Out. Is it […]

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Wine Tastings Classes Across AmericaWine classes are about enjoying wine and diving into the minute details. Very few things require as much attention as tasting a fine wine. The more you know about grape varieties, regions, producers, climate, soils, and vintages, the more you find when you stick your nose in a wine glass.Many of […]

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A career in wine is often seen as a glamorous and exciting profession, the antithesis of a regular office job or work in a high-pressure environment. While there are undoubtedly perks to working in wine, the amount of hard work and stress in this field is often underestimated. In truth, somms are a group of folks […]

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Working in WineSommeliers are not born; they must be educated, tested, and certified before earning the title. This is the purview of the wine instructor and a sommelier school. This article focuses on wine educator jobs and how to get one. Being a wine educator opens up a wide swath of career opportunities. While running […]

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What Does a Sommelier Do? Your Wine Questions Answered.There’s no better learning about the wine business and the sommelier profession than talking with a sommelier. Every person in the industry has their own experiences, lessons learned, and tips to share, so you’ll learn something from everyone.B.R. Franco is a certified sommelier by the Court of […]

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The Top Programs for Wine InstructorsThe wine world needs educators who go beyond PowerPoint and Rainman-like recitations of useless wine facts. The options are varied, but most of them are not available to us mere mortals. The international and regional programs tend to be discontinued and disappear within a few years. WSET has a program, […]

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 The Path Towards The Master Sommelier Lapel PinThere a handful of sommelier programs, each grueling in its own right, that can help put you on the path to becoming a Master Sommelier. If you watched the documentary SOMM, then you know this is no easy feat. It requires a minimum of ten years to earn […]

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How to become a Master of WineThe Master of Wine qualification is one of the most sought-after honors in the wine trade. To be accepted into the program, you must already have accomplished a top honor. That includes earning the L4 certificate by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), a Master of Wine Business, […]

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What does it take to become a master sommelier?Step one is to become a sommelier. To non-industry people, it probably sounds like a neat excuse to get paid for drinking-okay, maybe it is. Master Sommeliers take particular pride in their work. It is well warranted. They are a great deal more than a well-informed drinking […]

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There are eight points that all master somms must be able to accomplish when tasting wine.When we talk about “Master Somms” we are technically talking about Court of Master Sommeliers, since they own the copyright to the term Master Sommelier. However, in common parlance that means any Level V Graduate, which includes the Master of […]

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