Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination
The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas has a four-level education and examination program, beginning with the Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination.
The Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination, offered in-person and online, introduces students to the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Court of Master Sommeliers Tasting Method, the Court of Master Sommeliers Service Standards, and is taught exclusively by Master Sommeliers.
Students attending the two-day in-person course should come prepared with theoretical knowledge of the world of wine and beverages and what is expected of a sommelier working in the hospitality sector. Those attending online will have up to 180 days to complete the program and take the examination.
In-Person Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination: $699
Online Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination, wine kit included: $699
Wine kit includes 18 (187 ml) wines provided by Master the World
NOTE: At this time, wine cannot be shipped internationally, outside of the continental US (with the exception of AK or HI), or to the following US states: AL, AR, DE, KY, MS, RI, SD, UT.
Online Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination, wine NOT included: $499
Student may purchase their own wine for the course from a provided list of suggested wines
Who Should Attend This Class
Registration for the in-person or online Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination is open to anyone 21 or over in the hospitality, wholesale, and retail sectors of the food and beverage industry, anyone considering a career as a professional sommelier, or anyone interested in learning more about wine.
Please see the Examination Site Policy that defines where a student may sit depending on geographic location and exam history. NOTE: The CMS-EU chapter does not recognize the Online Introductory Course & Examination as a prerequisite for the Certified Sommelier Examination.
In-Person Course & Exam
- A student’s success in the in-person Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination will depend on a combination of career experience and level of preparation.
- It is expected that students come prepared having reviewed and studied the topics covered in the Introductory workbook. Upon enrollment, students receive access to download the Introductory workbook.
- In preparation, prior to enrollment, it's recommended that students acquire a general guide to wine to learn about the major wine producing countries and regions. The basic points of beer and spirits production should be covered as well. Review the Introductory Recommended Study Resources for book recommendations.
- Review the In-Person Introductory Course & Exam page for more information.
Online Course & Exam
- The online course is on-demand and self-paced study. Students can learn the information as quickly or as slowly as they would like and review sections at their own pace.
- Students have 180 days from the start date of the program to access course content and take the online exam.
- The online Introductory Sommelier Course is presented as a series of videos taught by Master Sommeliers. Each video lasts approximately 15-45 minutes, covering major wine growing regions of the world, along with beer, sake, and spirits. The Master Sommeliers will discuss food and beverage pairings with each subject as well as proper service. The videos are available on-demand for 180 days from the date of registration, allowing students to review the material at their convenience.
- The online Introductory Sommelier Course features 18 wines presented in guided tastings using the Court of Master Sommeliers Tasting Method. Each wine is matched with a specific lecture topic, allowing students to link the theory of how the wine was made with how it tastes, while they practice describing it.
- The final wine tasting of the course will feature an introduction to the Court of Master Sommeliers Deductive Tasting Method.
- The students can choose one of two paths to procure the wines needed for the tastings in this class:
Receive Introductory Sommelier Course wine kit from Master the World
- Upon registration, students will receive an email with instructions on how to redeem the wine kit through Master the World.
- Wine kit orders take 5-7 days to process plus shipping time, so please order right away. Shipping and handling included. Additional shipping rates may apply for expedited options or orders to AK or HI. ADULT SIGNATURE REQUIRED UPON DELIVERY.
- At this time, wine cannot be shipped internationally, outside of the continental US (with the exception of AK or HI), or to the following US states: AL, AR, DE, KY, MS, RI, SD, UT.
Purchase alternative wine
- Students who are not able to receive the wine kit will be provided with a list of alternative wines.
South Korea Students - Wine Vision has created a comparable wine kit for the Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam. For more information or to order the kit, please contact Wine Vision at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service, Hospitality, and Business of the Sommelier
- In addition to the theory lectures and wine tasting, an integral part of our curriculum is wine service, hospitality, and the business of the sommelier. Our instruction will include an introduction to wine service with guidance in restaurant service etiquette and the importance of hospitality.
- New to this program is an introduction to the business of the sommelier, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the important role the sommelier plays in the success of a business, from its revenue and cost controls to its relationships.
Online Exam Description and Details
Online Introductory Sommelier Examination
The examination consists of 70 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 45 minutes. A minimum score of 60% is required to earn the Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination certificate and lapel pin.
The exam is administered online in a live-proctored environment monitored via webcam.
Review the Online Introductory Sommelier Exam Guide for requirements to take the exam.
ID Required: A valid government-issued photo identification (Passport, Driver’s License, Military ID, State ID) must be shown at the time of your exam. The name on your ID must match the name you use to register for this program.
RETAKE POLICY: students who score less than 60% are eligible to retake the online examination for a fee of $125. Students must wait at least 14 days from their last attempt before retaking. To register to retake, contact email@example.com
Course content may be accessed on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart device that has the following:
- PDF plugin
- Graphic and audio output capability
- Broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps (recommended)
- TLS 1.2 supported by your web browser
The most recent version of a web browser listed below:
- Desktop: Chrome / Firefox / Safari / Microsoft Edge
- Mobile: iOS Safari (11 and up) / Chrome / Samsung Internet
- Note: Internet Explorer NOT supported
- Exam must be taken on a desktop computer or laptop (NOT supported: tablet, Chromebook or mobile device)
- Compatible web browser: Chrome (preferred) or Firefox
- A strong internet connection, webcam and microphone are required
- IMPORTANT: Review the Online Introductory Sommelier Exam Guide for system requirements to take the exam.
CMS-A Introductory Course and Exam Scholarship: In tandem with our ongoing pledge to provide a more inclusive, accessible, and flexible wine education for students, and in solidarity with an industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic, the CMS-A Diversity Committee is awarding an initial 100 scholarships to US and International students over the next twelve months for the online Introductory Sommelier Course and Exam. This scholarship will be available to BIPOC, individuals identifying as women, LGBTQ+, and those in financial need. The third round of scholarship applications opens September 1, 2021 at 9:00 AM PST and closes November 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST. For additional information and to submit an application please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KSNQ7JB.
Guild of Sommelier Education Foundation: SommFoundation offers scholarship opportunities to those working toward success with the Court of Master Sommeliers. They offer scholarships for the Introductory, Advanced, and Masters. They also provide the top scorer at the Certified Examination with a scholarship. Currently, they do not provide scholarships for the Deductive Tasting Workshop. Please visit their website at www.sommfoundation.com/scholarships for more information.
Aloha Wine Foundation: The Aloha Wine foundation will be awarding 3 scholarships of $500 to aspiring sommeliers towards their wine certification examinations. The application window will close at the end of August. Scholarship money can be used towards any official wine course / exam such as WSET, Society of Wine Educators, Court of Master Sommeliers. Proof of taking the course or exam. To submit an application go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfqj6gYwn1trpXNFvq1HPo4S_C1BD_Ru0CA3I0keCkWIPflBA/viewform. For more information on the Aloha Foundation please visit https://www.alohawinefoundation.org/.
- CMS-Americas accepts the Online Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination as a prerequisite for the Certified Sommelier Examination.
- Currently, CMS-Europe does not accept the Online Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination as a prerequisite for the Certified Sommelier Examination.
- Please review our Examination Site Policy.