Certified Exam Details

The Certified Sommelier Examination is a one-day examination with three sections:

Tasting Examination: Utilizing the Court of Master Sommeliers Deductive Tasting Method, candidates must describe and identify four wines (two white and two red) to the best of their ability. This is a written tasting that must be completed in 30 minutes. Download the CMS Deductive Tasting Format, Certified Examination Tasting Grids, and Certified Examination Grape Varieties & Growing Regions here.

Theory Examination: The theory examination tests candidates’ knowledge and understanding of the world of wine, beverage, and the sommelier trade. The test consists of multiple choice, short answer, simple math, and matching questions. Candidates must complete the 45-question examination within 35 minutes. Candidates are advised to study a general guide to wine. Download the┬áCertified Recommended Study Resources┬áand the┬áTheory Exam Standards┬á(templates for Germany, New Zealand, Beer show the depth of knowledge required and can be used as a guide of how to approach all topics of study)┬áhere.

Service Examination: The practical service examination approximates a real restaurant environment, and candidates are expected to demonstrate salesmanship and knowledge while performing a variety of tableside tasks. Candidates may be asked to open still or sparkling wines, to recommend cocktails or spirits, to discuss food and wine paring options, and to generally show their abilities as a restaurant sommelier. Candidates must arrive appropriately dressed and equipped for professional restaurant wine service. Download the CMS service standards here.

Passing requirement: must achieve a minimum of 60% on each section within one sitting. Successful candidates will receive a certificate and lapel pin signifying their certification as a sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.