Introductory Sommelier Certificate – 3 Days

This information is sources from the Court of Master Sommeliers Website.

This is the first level at which all prospective Master Sommeliers should begin. The course is run over two days with the examinations held on the morning of the third day.

The content of the course covers:

  • elementary practices in the vineyard and winemaking procedures.
  • the grape varieties, origins, specific winemaking procedures and classifications for all the major wines of the world.
  • the production, raw materials and flavours of Spirits and liqueurs.
  • technical skills of wine service.
  • importance of social skills.
  • fundamentals of matching wines with food.
  • an introduction to the skills of wine tasting.

Candidates who satisfactorily gain this certificate will be able to:

  • explain the factors which contribute towards the quality of wines.
  • describe the characteristics of the wines from the main wine producing countries of the world.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the wine classification and control systems in current use.
  • interpret wine label terms.
  • state the basic ingredients and flavours of apéritifs, spirits and liqueurs.
  • demonstrate an awareness of beers, saké and other beverages.
  • demonstrate the correct service of wine and other beverages.
  • demonstrate a basic competence in selling and matching wines with foods.
  • identify the requirements of the Advanced Sommelier Certificate.

The lectures are presented by Master Sommeliers using a power-point format interspersed with wine tastings, plus a practical service demonstration. The examination comprises a multiple-choice theoretical paper plus a short elementary practical service test.

The pass mark for each part of this examination is 60%. The fee for the Introductory Sommelier Certificate course includes a copy of the course book – Sales and Service for the Wine Professional by Brian K Julyan MS.

Candidates successfully passing the examination will receive Certification and a lapel pin.



Frequently asked questions – 

Is this exam an Introductory course to Wine?

No. This is an Introductory course and exam to the Court of Master Sommelier tasting techniques, philosophy and culture. An above average wine knowledge is recommended before attempting this exam.

Is this exam recommended for people not directly involved in the Service of beverages in restaurants, hotels and similar establishments?

We would strongly recommend, due to the Service element, that those attempting this exam have some experience. WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) run excellent courses for those in the wine trade or with wine interests that do not require Service skills to be examined.

Can I bypass this Exam and skip straight to the Certified or Advanced exam?

No. You must complete every level of CMS Certification.