Somm Exams

Introductory Exam Details

The Introductory Sommelier┬áCourse┬árequires two full days commitment. ItÔÇÖs intense and fast paced – covering a lot of information, and by no means all, about the world of wine and other beverages. Beginning at 8:00 am and finishing around 6:00 pm both days.

At the end of day two we will invite you to take a theory examination. The good news is that all questions are multiple choice reflecting the content of the preceding two days. The pass mark for this examination and to earn the CMS Introductory Sommelier Course Certificate and lapel pin is a strict minimum 60%.

After passing the Introductory Sommelier Course Examination, you are eligible to sit the Certified Sommelier Examinations (Theory, Tasting and Service).

Please note the following Court of Master Sommeliers Americas policy: Sommeliers holding an Introductory Sommelier Course credential have three years after passing the Introductory Examination to sit the Certified Sommelier Examinations. If this opportunity is not undertaken within the three-year window then the Introductory Sommelier Course & Examination must be re-taken. There is a $100 discount off the registration fee should this situation arise. Pricing subject to change without notice.

Certified Sommelier Examination 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.