We all know the health benefits of red wine. But have you ever thought of becoming a Sommelier? Why not become a wine-tasting professional – drink some beautiful wines and get paid for it!! Our friends at Ilovewine.com have put together a comprehensive list of the best sommelier courses.
The wine industry (along with beer & spirits), is one of the fastest growing industries in America. The demand for professionally educated staff is rapidly increasing. The wine industry is formed by a group of diverse, educated, and highly devoted people. It is not uncommon for people to think they get paid to sit around and drink wine all day, even travel to drink wine; however that is just one small perk of the job.
The wine industry is made up of winemakers and cellar assistants, viticulture professionals, tasting room managers, wine club managers and staff, event coordinators, sales directors, lab technicians, graphic designers, bloggers (hi!), professors, restaurant staff, and sommeliers. The list could go on forever.
What makes the wine industry so competitive is the fact that many of these professionals have a sommelier or other wine certification under their belt. Pursuing this education is not for the faint of heart. It is a continuous stream of studying and the courses are rigorous. You will often be alone in your home (wine-less), hunched over books and writing essays.
However, the wine industry and pursuing a sommelier certificate is an excellent career move for anyone who loves wine (obviously), enjoys learning, and has an interest in one of the many branches of the industry. Sommelier courses are not just for those wanting to become wine waiters, it is highly beneficial for anyone in the industry to have a certificate and it will set you apart when competing for jobs.
Here are some of the most highly accredited and internationally recognized sommelier courses.
- Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)
- National Wine School (NWS)
- Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
- International Sommelier Guild (ISG)
- Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS)
Your career goals should be a deciding factor in which program you pursue. Some things to consider are whether you are wanting to work internationally, whether you need to pursue the program at your own pace, whether you are able to attend classes in person or choose to do online courses, and whether you want to specialize or pair a program with another degree.
To help you decide, here is the rundown on some of the most popular wine education programs; including cost, certificate levels, and the pros and cons of each program.