Certified Sommelier Course

Certified Sommelier Course – course start: Sunday, the 14th of October 2018

Two courses are offered per year, the first starts in March, the second in October.

Sommelier Courses in the English language

Who should attend

The courses are open not only to all who are employed within the Hospitality and Catering industry, but also to anyone who is interested in learning about wine and spirits following a recognised methodology. The course is intended to inform and educate not only the professionals in the service of wines, but also those seeking to enhance their overall knowledge.

How will you benefit?

This course will assist in the career progression for anyone who already possesses experience in the Restaurant and hospitality trade and intends to progress to become a Sommelier.

The course is based on an international version of the AIS (Italian Sommelier Association) course which is reputed to be one of the very best Sommelier programmes in the world due to over 50 years of experience and development. The internationally recognised diploma will enable you to work anywhere in the world.

The course makes use of modern methods of further education with a view to assisting the participants in acquiring a sound level of technical and cultural knowledge to prepare them for the Final examination, which on passing will allow them to use the title: “Certified Sommelier”.

As of December 2017 we have adapted the course material to the eLearning format. The course is designed to guide all students through the material at their own pace. The material is broken down into sections and easy to follow lessons which take between one and two hours to work through. Each lesson contains self-assessment questions, designed to reinforce the learning objectives and each section contains a practice examination. The student can monitor their own progress through the courses using simple dashboards that the Learning Material System provides and identify those areas in which they are weakest to that they may work to improve on them. All this is designed to check the acquired knowledge and prepare the students for the assessments at the end of each module and becoming a “Certified Sommelier”.

All course participants are able to access the learning material “on-the-go”… which allows for more flexibility as to when and where you learn! 

Outline programme

The course consists of three modules of approximately 12 units each:

Module 1

  • Sommelier Service, Tasks and Requirements
  • Customer Service
  • Working safely
  • Viticulture and Oenology
  • Sensory Analysis
  • Wine Tasting Technique
  • Beer and Spirits

Module 2

  • Europe – Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria
  • Mediterranean – Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Middle East
  • New World – USA, Canada, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand
  • Other countries and wine regions
  • Introduction to Sake styles and service

Module 3

  • Food and Wine matching by cooking method and base ingredients

Learning Outcomes for the course:

By undertaking the Certified Sommelier Diploma, you will cover skills and techniques required to to deliver beverage service to guests / customers. You will develop hard and soft skills that will allow you to work in a variety of establishments and settings including hotels, restaurants and specialist events catering.

On passing the Certified Sommelier qualification you will be able to:

  • Discuss, recommend and serve aperitifs, spirits and liqueurs, displaying a sound knowledge of the products.
  • Select, prepare and position glassware necessary for the service of drinks in the lounge, restaurant, function room or private suite.
  • Present, offer, prepare (decanting where necessary) and serve wines, demonstrating a high degree of efficiency and proficiency.
  • Discuss menu content and wine lists, recommending wines to accompany food, displaying a sound knowledge of the products, their vintages and characteristics.
  • Handle queries and complaints with skill and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of Beverage Management including an ability to train beverage servers.
  • Demonstrate an ability to sell.
  • Orally describe the characteristics of wines.
  • Analyse classic styles of wine, identifying where appropriate, grape varieties, country and district of origin, vintage and quality level.

To gain the Certified Sommelier qualification, candidates will be required to:

Each module includes an assessment on the last day. A statement of attendance of the module will be issued pending the assessment and attendance of all the units within the module.

The Assessment

At the end of each of the 1st and 2nd modules, the candidate will have their progress assessed as follows:

Module 1 – assessment consists of:

  • A written examination paper – which consists of a combination of short answer questions, true and false and / or multiple choice questions

Module 2 – assessment consists of:

  • A written examination paper – which consists of a combination of short answer questions, true and false and / or multiple choice questions

The Final Examination (at the end of the 3rd module)

Consists of five sections:

  1. Written theory examination covering the subject knowledge from all three modules
  2. Blind tasting of two wines
  3. Practical exercise of matching food with wine
  4. Oral examination with questions on the subject matter from all three modules
  5. A practical service exercise

Only candidates who have successfully passed the first three sections of the final examination will be permitted to proceed to the 4th and 5th section of the Professional Sommelier Diploma examination.

Candidates who have not passed all sections of the final examination, are permitted to retake the examination a second time at the next final examination session.

(please note, the examination can only be retaken once and the candidate will be expected to also register and attend the entire 3rd module)

Only candidates of legal age for the consumption of alcohol (both wine, fortified wine and spirits) within Switzerland will be accepted on the course.

Required prior knowledge for course: – none, but an advantage, the WSET® Level 1 Award in Wines and practical experience in the hotel, restaurant or catering industry. 

(N.B. if you are not sure, contact us, so that we can help you choose the course level according to your needs and objectives). 

Guided learning hours: – it is recommended that the teaching time and self-study time for each of the modules should be

Module 1 –  teaching time: no less than 20 hours and self-study of at least 14 hours

Module 2 – teaching time: no less than 24 hours and a self-study of at least 24 hours

Module 3 – teaching time: no less than 20 hours and a self-study time of at least 30 hours 

N.B. Please note that the course is designed on a cumulative learning basis, where all the knowledge gained will be assessed on a summative basis on the final examination.

The Certified Sommelier course costs CHF 3,220.– or, alternatively, to spread the cost, you can pay for each of the modules separately as follows:

Module 1 @ CHF 1,190.– (to confirm your place, payment is required by the 15th of September 2018) Module starts: Sunday, the 14th of October 2018

Module 2 @ CHF 1,140.– (to confirm your place, payment is required by the 15th of October 2018) Module starts:  Sunday, the 11th of November 2018

Module 3 @ CHF 1,250.– (to confirm your place, payment is required by the 15th of February 2018) Module starts: Sunday, the 14th of October 2018 for current students

You can pay by bank transfer, by credit card, debit card either directly on this website, our App, or ask us to send you an invoice with a payment slip. 

Progression routes – Upon successful completion of the Sommelier Certificate, the candidate may progress to the following qualifications:

WSET® Level 3 Award in Wines: – For individuals seeking to delve deeper into the world of wines, this qualification provides detailed understanding of the factors that affect style, quality and price. You will learn how to assess wines accurately and use your understanding to make authoritative recommendations.

Qualification – Beverage and Food Operations Management Certificate, will be awarded on successful completion of the following modules:

  • WSET® Level 3 in Wines
  • Module – Advanced Wine Service (not required on successful completion of the Certified Sommelier course)
  • Module – Wine and Beverage list development
  • Module – Performance Analysis for Wine and Beverage lists
  • Module – Manage Cellar and Beverage Operations