Intensive Sommelier Training
The first wine sommelier school in the world to be approved by the renowned Court of Master Sommeliers®, our wine program combines lecture with intensive tastings, food pairings, and practice of service techniques. Students learn how to taste and evaluate bottles from around the world and have the option to take the Court of Master Sommeliers' Certified Sommelier Examination on-site at the end of the course.
If you are serious about becoming a wine sommelier there is only one school for you:
The International Culinary Center.
- The International Culinary Center is the first school to be recognized by the renowned Court of Master Sommeliers.
- The International Culinary Center is the only school that has 12 Master Sommeliers on its faculty.
All that in just 10 intense weeks.
We’re different from other wine certification programs. There are 12 Master Sommeliers on faculty at The International Culinary Center, all of whom share their encyclopedic wine knowledge while focusing on your practical next step: earning your certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. You’ll be able to earn this distinction in weeks, not years, thanks to our customized, streamlined Total ImmersionSMcurriculum where you’ll taste, learn, and discern, immersing your mind and senses. Nowhere is there a more professional and thorough training available.
Our course is offered in two American wine meccas, California and New York, where you’ll learn from the country’s best winemakers and sommeliers. Our West Coast campus is located in the heart of old California wine country, within sight of Ridge Vineyards, the legendary American winery that bested Bordeaux first growths in the grand Paris tasting of 1976. The campus’ $1 million tasting room is more than a contemporary marvel, it’s an unparalleled location for absorbing every nuance of what you taste, learn, and discern.
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. Our on-campus wine-centric restaurant, L’Ecole, has earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for multiple consecutive years.
No matter which campus you choose, this is not a course for amateurs who just want to taste wine or learn pairings. Instead, this course is aimed at the serious individual intent on obtaining a depth and breadth of knowledge provided by the most esteemed wine school in the country.
In 10 weeks we’ll help you study for and obtain the most valued credential in the industry—the sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. With this distinction—and access to The International Culinary Center’s job and alumni network—you will be poised to move up in your career and the world of wine, whichever path you should choose.
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 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.
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.