Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Launches New Corporate Programs

Master Sommelier Led Training for Restaurant and Hospitality Service Providers

(Napa Valley, Calif.) December 3, 2013—The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas (CMS-A) today announced the launch of two new corporate programs that will provide companies with group rates and access to its Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination at a significant savings. The intensive two-day seminar led by Master Sommeliers is aimed at providing employees in the restaurant and hospitality business with the confidence and skill to recommend, buy and serve wine, beer and spirits from around the world. Companies can either purchase a block of seats in a course scheduled by the Court through "Block Purchase" or can choose to host their own private course by selecting the "In House" program.

New York’s acclaimed Del Posto restaurant, Las Vegas’s Aria Resort, Darden Restaurant Group, Princess Cruises, Whole Foods Market and several national distributors are just a few of the companies that have already trained employees through the Court’s corporate programs. "Knowledge is power, and the Court’s in-house program not only helped the entire Del Posto staff become well-educated about wine, but also noticeably increased staff excitement. Our entire team is now much more prepared and confident when speaking about wine, which results in effective communication and a more seamless experience for the customer," says Jeff Porter, Wine Director at Del Posto and Babbo restaurants in New York City.

Through the "In-House" program, companies purchase a private Introductory Sommelier Course for 30 to 75 employees at a tiered pricing structure that offers more than 50 percent savings for the largest class size. The "Block Purchase" program enables companies to purchase a block of seats for staff at CMS-A classes in the US and Canada with no extraneous expenses (blocks seats must be used within 12 months purchase). The tiered pricing for "Block Purchase" begins at 35 seats at a cost of $450 per person. For more details on the programs and pricing please contact Executive Director Kathleen Lewis at 707-255-5056.

Employees who successfully complete the Introductory Sommelier Course have received an overview of all of the major wine growing regions in the world, as well as instruction in spirits, beer, saké and proper wine service. They have also been introduced to the Court’s Deductive Tasting Method, acquiring the skills that will enable them to confidently recognize both wine quality and flaws. Employees with a minimum 60 percent pass rate on the exam will receive their Introductory Course Certification and be eligible to study and sit for the Certified Sommelier Exam.


The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 135 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 116 are men and 19 are women. There are 214 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit