Intensive Sommelier Training
The first school in the world to be approved by the renowned Court of Master Sommeliers®, the International Culinary Center’s Intensive Sommelier Training combines lecture with comprehensive tastings, food pairings, and practice of service techniques. Students learn how to taste and evaluate bottles from around the world and, at the end of the course, have the option to take the Court of Master Sommeliers' Introductory and Certified Sommelier Examinations on-site.
In contrast to our amateur wine classes, this course is specifically aimed at aspiring professionals seeking the in-depth knowledge required to succeed in the wine industry. Nowhere is there a more comprehensive training available.
In as little as 10 weeks, you will be able to:
- Earn a valued and internationally recognized credential: The Certified Sommelier accreditation from the Court of Masters Sommeliers.
- Qualify for a wide range of positions throughout the beverage industry including Sommelier, Beverage Director, tasting room coordinator, wine bar proprietor, brand ambassadors, wholesale, retail and more.
• Gain lifetime access to the International Culinary Center’s extensive job and alumni network.
Unparalleled Excellence – The ICC is the only school with 12 Master Sommeliers on its faculty
Our 12 Master Sommeliers share their encyclopedic knowledge while focusing on the practical and technical aspects of your education. Our customized, streamlined Total ImmersionSMcurriculum, completed in 10 to 17 weeks, consists of eight professional-level units that cover the essentials of wine including, viticulture, vinification, wine of the world, professional sales and service techniques, beer, spirits and wine management programs. At the end of this intensive course of study, you will be ready and able to earn the Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, a dynamic industry credential.
Location, Location, Location
Our course is offered in two American wine meccas, California and New York. Our West Coast campus is located in the heart of historic California wine country, within sight of Ridge Vineyards. The campus’ $1 million tasting room is a contemporary marvel, ideal for absorbing and contextualizing every nuance of what you taste, learn, and discern. Beyond the classroom, students can explore the industry’s most exciting wine regions, including Sonoma and Napa.
Our New York City campus, located in the heart of SoHo, is part of the energy and excitement of America’s number one restaurant city, including our own L’Ecole, which has earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for multiple consecutive years. With an extraordinary range of wine businesses concentrated in just one city, the opportunities for exposure and success are endless. Whether exploring vineyards in The North Fork of Long Island, or start-up ventures just over the Brooklyn Bridge , New York City delivers an extraordinary wine experience.
Intensive Sommelier Training consists of eight units that cover the essentials of wine, from wine styles and winemaking to tasting and professional service techniques. On average, six to eight bottles are tasted per session. Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn:
Wines of France
New World Wine Regions
Wines of Italy
Wines of the Iberian Peninsula
Wines of Germany and Eastern Europe
Beers & Spirits
Wine Program Management
You’ll learn the basics of grape growing and winemaking and get an overview of the major wine regions of the world. Explore the physiology of taste, and learn how to taste and blind-taste wines. Assess and discuss wines, learning how to evaluate flavor characteristics and identify flaws in a way that’s thorough and informational. Discuss proper cellar conditions and the effects of aging wine. You’ll practice basic service techniques, such as decanting red wines and presenting sparkling wines.
You’ll be introduced to the major wine regions of France: Alsace, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Rhone, Provence, Languedoc, Roussillon, Southwest, Jura, Savoie, Bordeaux, and Champagne. Discuss the unique climates, cuisine, wine customs, and wine styles of France. Understand French wine quality levels, regulations, and labeling.
Discover the history of production in the United States, as well as laws specific to American producers. Then, you’ll examine the major wine regions of California, Oregon, and Washington (and touch on the diverse offerings from the other 47 states). From there you’ll explore the rest of North, Central, and South America, from Canada to Mexico to Chile and Argentina. Finally, you’ll study the wines of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Become acclimated to the regions, climates, wine styles, and cuisines of Italy on this all-encompassing tasting tour. Explore Piedmont in northern Italy, Tuscany in the central region, and, finally, southern Italy and its surrounding islands. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the other regions of the country, their grapes, labeling, and more.
The Iberian Peninsula is home to the wines of Spain and Portugal. In this unit, students receive an overview of the quality levels of each country’s wines, along with more information about their regulatory systems, grapes, and characteristic styles. In Spain, you’ll explore Sherry, Rioja, Ribera Del Duero, Navarra, Priorat, Rueda, Rias, Baixas, and more. In Portugal, tastings will include Port, Madeira, Douro, Bairrada, Setubal, Vinho Verde, among others.
You’ll begin with an overview of the region’s geography. From there you’ll focus primarily on Germany, learning about the grapes of the various regions, laws, and wine styles. Conclude with an exploration of the wines of Austria, Hungary, and Greece.
Since sommeliers must also have a strong understanding of beers and spirits, this in-depth unit begins with an overview of the production methods, terms, and styles of beer. You’ll then learn about the distillation process, and discuss a variety of spirits, including whiskies, brandies, and liqueurs. The unit concludes with a sparkling wine service exam.
Learn to create a winning wine program, with special focus menu conception, wine list pricing, and variety, as well as creative marketing strategies. You will also learn management principles, including beverage cost control, vendor relations, cellar management, and beverage law. This unit concludes with a practical decanting wine service exam, and, finally, the on-site Court of Master Sommeliers' Certified Sommelier Examination, a test of the culmination of the skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout the program.
Turn Your Passion for Wine into College Credits at The New School
Graduates of our Intensive Sommelier Training program whose GPAs are 3.0 (equivalent to an 85% cumulative average) or higher can now transfer 7 credits towards a Bachelor of Arts or Science from The New School for Public Engagement, a division of The New School—one of the foremost private universities in New York City. A total of 60 credits from International Culinary Center programs may be applied towards the 120 credit requirement for a degree in Liberal Arts from The New School for Public Engagement.
To get started, speak to your admission representative about how to start earning credits today. Click here to learn more about college credit opportunities in our other programs.
Recent Military Veterans & Their Spouses
Veterans and surviving family members of veterans whose deaths or disabilities were service connected may be eligible for educational benefits, including funds made available through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Additionally, honorably discharged military veterans may apply for International Culinary Center Veterans Tuition Scholarships. Speak to an admission representative for more information.
Explore Your Financial Aid Options
We have a dedicated team of advisers on hand to help qualified students identify and apply for sources of financial aid funding. To get started, visit the Financial Aid section of the website or contact us for more information.