Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam: In-person versus Online

The first step in becoming a sommelier begins with the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam. This is the foundation of starting a career in the wine industry.

In–Person Vs. Online Introductory Course: Which is Right For Me?

In-Person Course (Two Days)

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Intensive Learning

The two-day format offers a concentrated immersive review of the Introductory Sommelier Study Guide. It’s a great option if you prefer to self-study and like to round it out with a classroom-style overview of the entire curriculum.

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Networking Opportunities

In-person courses provide a chance to network with instructors and fellow students, building valuable and long-lasting connections in the world of wine.

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Immediate Feedback

You have the expertise of the Master Sommeliers at your fingertips. You can receive instant feedback from instructors during tastings and activities, enhancing your learning experience. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have and have them answered in real-time.

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Structured Schedule

If you prefer a structured and guided learning schedule, the two-day format provides a clear timeline for completion. In this format, you are guaranteed to work through the entire study guide.

Online Course (Up to Six Months)

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Flexible Schedule

Online courses allow you to learn at your own pace, making it more accommodating for those with busy schedules or other commitments. This option also allows you the freedom to schedule your exam on any Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday within the 180-day course window.

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Deeper Understanding

The extended duration allows for more in-depth exploration of topics. You can take your time to thoroughly understand and absorb the material. With this option, you can pause and replay lectures to make sure that you understand the material thoroughly.

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Cost Consideration

Online courses may be more cost-effective, considering potential savings on travel, accommodation, and other expenses associated with attending an in-person event.

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Accessible Resources

The online course provides a variety of resources, such as video lectures, practice quizzes, and written materials, which you can access and revisit as needed.

Considerations for Both

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Exam Preparation

Evaluate how well each format prepares you for the exam. Everyone has a different method of studying. Ensure that the format aligns with your preferred method of studying and test-taking.

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Hands-On Experience

Wine tasting is a sensory experience, and both formats should ideally include practical, hands-on components. If you choose the online option, make sure to order the wine kit or purchase your own wines from the list of recommendations to experience opportunities for practical application and tasting exercises.

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Future Plans

Consider your long-term goals. Both options will prepare you for future certifications. If networking is part of your plans, the in-person course might be better for you. If you want as much time with the materials as possible, then the online program might be better suited.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your learning preferences, schedule, and how you thrive in a learning environment. If possible, you might want to reach out to individuals who have taken each type of course to gather their feedback and insight.

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