Is becoming a sommelier right for me?
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How to become a Sommelier
One can gain some general knowledge and experience with wine by doing such things as getting a job as a waiter or waitress in an upscale restaurant, working for a wine retailer, obtaining a job pouring wine in a winery tasting room and simply talking to wine experts.
The International Sommelier Guild (ISG) offers courses for aspiring sommeliers. Their program is six-months long that meets one day per week for eight hours. Students must complete certain elective and mandatory courses to get the Grand Sommelier Diploma.
The Court of Master Sommeliers is an internationally known organization that offers training to existing wine stewards who would like to become masters in their fields. Founded in Great Britain, this organization administered their first exam in 1969. To meet this goal, one must complete all the following steps:
- Complete the Introductory Sommeliers Course
- Pass the Certified Sommeliers Exam
- Complete the Advanced Sommeliers Course
- Pass the Master Sommeliers Diploma Exam
After successfully completing all the above steps, one may receive an invitation to join The Court of Master Sommeliers.
The Institute of Masters of Wine, which was also founded in Great Britain, has offered a Master of Wine Certification to those persons who complete their program and successfully pass their exam. There are only about 356 Master of Wine certificate holders and only 236 Master Sommeliers around the entire world.