Certification Levels

The Court of Master Sommeliers is a four-level education program that begins with the Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination and ends with the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination.
CMSA Digital Badge Introductory

Introductory Sommelier Course & Examination

Your sommelier journey starts with the Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination.

The exam is taken in conjunction with the Introductory Sommelier Course and is offered both in-person and online. This level is meant to introduce you to the CMS Deductive Tasting Method, service standards, and a starting base for theory.

speaker on stage during wine Introductory class

Deductive Tasting Workshop

This intensive one-day workshop offers the opportunity to taste 24 examples of classic wines from around the world. The workshop will focus on the “cause and effect” analysis of each wine, which will help students understand why classic wines taste the way they do.

CMSA members writing down notes while listening to the presenter in an event
CMSA Digital Badge Certified

Certified Sommelier Examination

Step two of your journey, the Certified Sommelier Exam focuses on a candidate’s ability to demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in deductive tasting
  • Wine and beverage theory
  • Technical and salesmanship skills in tableside service.

This program is only offered in-person and can only be completed after successfully passing the Introductory Sommelier Examination. The Certified Sommelier Exam is a one-day program that is held all over the world.

CMSA Digital Badge Advanced

Advanced Sommelier Course & Examination

The third step is the Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination. Unlike the Introductory Sommelier Course, the Advanced Sommelier Course and Exam are held independently of one another. The Advanced Sommelier Examination is divided into three parts:
  • Theory (written)
  • Tasting (verbal)
  • Practical
People enjoying wine tasting event at tables with wine glasses
CMSA Members smiling at the camera showing a Master Sommelier certification
CMSA Digital Badge Master

Master Sommelier Diploma Examination

The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination is similar in format and content to that of the Advanced Sommelier Examination in that it consists of three parts:
  • A theory examination (an oral examination and not written)
  • A deductive tasting of six wines
  • Practical wine service examination
This is the final sommelier examination.
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