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How do I Choose the Best Sommelier School?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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When considering the best sommelier school for your needs, you should think about the location of potential schools and the qualifications and credentials of such schools. You should also look at detailed information regarding actual programs offered by such schools, so you will have a real idea about what to expect in any program you are interested in attending. It can be helpful to look at potential expenses so you have an idea of how much you may need to spend on your education, as well as possibilities for financial aid.

A sommelier school is an institution in which someone learns how to become a sommelier, or a professional wine expert. These types of schools often teach not only a basic understanding of wine and how it is produced, but they also examine various types of wine, tasting wine, and how to properly serve or sell wine as well. When looking for the best sommelier school for you, you should begin by considering locations you can realistically attend. You may be able to travel for a week or two to complete your coursework, but it may be easier to look for a school closer to you.

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It can also be advisable to look at affiliations and credentials that sommelier schools have as you consider different possibilities for your education. Many such schools will be associated with a culinary institute, and you should look for those institutions that have strong credentials. A standalone sommelier school you consider should be associated with a sommelier guild or similar organization that attests to the quality of the school.

You should look closely at any programs a sommelier school offers. Most programs are broken into several different levels of classes and certification, and you should be aware of what each level offers. While book learning regarding wines is important, you should look for a program that offers numerous tastings of different wines so you will have a strong practical foundational knowledge and understanding of wine.

It can also be helpful to contact local businesses such as bars and hotels in your area and ask what they look for from sommeliers they work with. The qualifications of prospective employers can often give you an excellent idea of what to look for in a sommelier school. You should also think about how much different programs cost and how you can pay for your education. Some schools can help you receive financial aid from banks or government lenders, and you may want to consider this as you look at different programs.

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