The Complete Guide To Wine Education Courses 2023
25th January 2023
If you work in the hospitality or wine industry, a certificate can advance your career and set you apart from the competition. But, like most endeavors, knowing where to start is a pain. Our onestop guide to wine will cover all the major qualifications, abbreviations, and learning processes involved. Not only this, but we will also explore the job opportunities available for each study.
Facts About Wine
Wine is an integral part of everyday life for many people. The retail value of wine sales in the U.S. is $78.4 billion. In 2021 alone, over 773 million gallons were produced in the country. There are also over 1,000 wineries and they employ over 64,000 people in the United States to fill different roles. Apart from this, you can launch a career independently.
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There are places where you enroll for courses. Each of these institutions focuses on a particular aspect and is mostly for people who want to work in the industry. The only exception is the SWE, which offers only beginner courses. Let us examine the studies you can enroll for below:
The International Sommelier Guild
The ISG certification trains and certifies wine sommeliers in three countries – China, Canada, and the USA. Their programs include:
● Diploma Program (SDP)
● Advanced and Intermediate Wine Certification (AWC and IWC).
The ISG was established in 1982. It offers online education, wine masterclass and hosts distributors and schools from different companies. Their instructors have vast educational and hospitality experience. They are also expert restaurateurs, winemakers, and chefs. Not only this, but they include hospitality experts, distributors, retailers, and importers. The ISG is a prerequisite if you desire to become a steward in a restaurant.
What jobs can I get with ISG?
The organization offers the following positions:
● Distributor salesperson
● General manager.
ISG wine courses
You can sign up for classes online or in person; this is the only wine course with textbooks for each level. The four levels you must pass before certification include:
● Level 1 – Intermediate Certificate: A 3-month syllabus with classes once a week. There is a multiple-choice exam you must pass at the end of the level to advance to level 2.
● Level 2 – Advanced Certificate: This has a similar design to level 1. It covers an understanding of ales to help students build knowledge using a regional approach.
● Level 3 – Diploma: the professionally oriented certification is for future professionals that require extensive training to function at the highest levels.
● Level 4 – ISGM Sommelier
● Level 5 – ISGM Degree: the multidisciplinary curriculum lasts 90 weeks and covers business, nutrition, and full oenology.
The Court of Master Sommeliers
The CMS is another examination body that offers accredited studies to improve your skills. The institution covers three fields of study – service, theory, and sampling. You can attend four certification programs, namely:
● CMS I – Introductory Certificate: This is a 2-day entry-level lecture, with the exam on the third day. It covers the basics of grape-growing, wine-making, and administration.
● CMS II – Certified Certificate: This is the benchmark qualification for professionals in the hospitality trade in America. After completing the introductory certificate, you will write exams, perform blind sampling, and a practical exam on servicing.
● CMS III – Advanced Certificate: This 5-day curriculum covers revision and examination. It involves 24 multiple choice and 60 short answers, a 45-minute service exam, and blind tasting 6 wines.
● CMS IV – Diploma: the rarest and most difficult diploma requires intense skill and dedication. It has the same structure as the Advanced certificate. However, there is no written element, as the 120 theory questions are asked by a panel of judges.
The Court of Master Sommeliers is the benchmark qualification for high-end programs. Since its establishment in 1969, only 269 people have earned the title. The reason is that only 10% pass the final exam. You must work in a restaurant to enroll in the class.
What jobs can I get with CMS?
CMS offers these positions:
● Lead sommelier at a top restaurant
● Account manager
● Director or region director.
The Wine and Spirit Education Trust
The WSET offers education programs in 15 languages and 70 countries. It covers the anatomy of grape varieties and the basics of business and builds solid knowledge. The WSET is the most established school and has four levels. As a result, it is a great place to start if you’re new to the food and beverage industry. Their offerings include:
● Grape growing (Viticulture)
● Winemaking (Oenology)
● Region and styles
● Market forces
● Sampling technique.
Each of these lectures is divided into levels and requires you to study to pass to the next level. As a result, it can last for up to 3 years. A WSET diploma will ease your transition into the Institute of Masters of Wine, where you can delve into in-depth theory.
What jobs can I get with WSET
● Sensory analyst.
● Region educational director.
● Distribution management.
● Sales leadership and marketing roles.
The Wine Scholar Guild
The WSG is a recent addition for individuals that want to focus on particular topics and countries. As a result, it offers more intense content. The school offers studies in France, Spain, and Italy. They also cover the following:
● History and Culture.
● Grape varieties.
● Viticulture and winemaking.
WSG classes are open to anyone. They last for 4 days or 24 hours of classroom time, and you can specialize as a Spanish, French, or Italian scholar. The WSG offers Master-level, Bourgogne Master-level, Loire-Master Level, and Bordeaux Master-level studies. With this, you can work in any French, Spanish, or Italian restaurant.
The Society of Wine Educators
The SWE offers different self-study programs. They include beverage and hospitality specialist classes and educator and specialist certifications in spirits. Although most classes are online, you can buy print textbooks. Some of the certificate programs offered by the institution include:
● Hospitality beverage specialist: covers spirits and coffee. The certificate is about the same level as WSET levels 1 and 2 and provides knowledge for higher-level certifications.
● Certified specialist of wine: the exam covers composition and chemistry, physiology of taste, and laws & regions.
● Certified educator: this is the highest level certification by The SWE.
Wine is an extensive subject. As a result, one certification is not often enough. All these schools offer customized curricula to learn the intricacies of wine, servicing, and laws. But since you can’t take every course, we recommend WSET levels 2-4, WSET 4 (diploma), and the Society of Wine Educators CWE, CSW, and HBSC for general knowledge. If you want to become an expert in drink services, try the comprehensive CMS Levels 1-4 and the International Sommeliers Guild Levels 1-4.
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