Wine Certification

The Sommelier Certification Program is comprised of the following six academic modules.

Courses are presented in chronological order. Courses may be taken in any order, however, other than Sensory Development & Wine Styles, which is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Students who complete Sensory Development & Wine Styles in Nov, for example, may proceed to New World Wine Regions in Jan, while students who complete Sensory in Mar may proceed to Old World in Sep.

Course Length Timeframe Cost
Sensory Development & Wine Styles 10 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Nov,
Old World Wine Regions 15 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Dec  $925
Beer, Spirits & Other Beverages 2 full days Dec  $350
New World Wine Regions 14 weeks, 1 evening per week Jan-Apr  $925
Sommelier Management 2 full days Apr  $395
Methods of Modern Winemaking 2 full days Apr  $350

Note: All prices +HST. Each student is also required to complete an on-site stage experience placement prior to certification.

Upcoming courses are listed below; online registration is available. Please feel free to contact Cheryl Doherty for more information.

Upcoming wine courses

    • Mon, January 15, 2018
    • Mon, April 30, 2018
    • 14 sessions
    • The Port - Experience Room
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    New World wine regions are quickly establishing market strength. This section of the Sommelier program examines the ‘New World’ wine regions including Australia, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, USA, and Canada, with special attention to the wines of Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. In this section of the course students will study the character and quality of the major wines of the New World, learning the history, terroir, culture, laws, leading producers and trends. Emphasis will be placed on the advancement of New World winemaking techniques and the influence of these developments within the New World wine regions and abroad. In this course, students will continue to develop their tasting ability and wine assessment skills, as well as knowledge of food and wine pairings.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf and Carman Mills, and runs in January each year.

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class 1: New World winemaking techniques, wine closures and alternative packaging
    • Class 2: Wines of Chile
    • Class 3: Wines of Argentina
    • Class 4: NW techniques & South America written exam & Student Presentations
    • Class 5: Wines of California
    • Class 6: California cont’d, Pacific Northwest & other USA
    • Class 7: Wines of Canada
    • Class 8: Wines of Nova Scotia
    • Class 9: North America written exam
    • Class 10: Wines of New Zealand
    • Class 11: Wines of South Africa
    • Class 12: Wines of Australia (focus on warmer regions)
    • Class 13: Wines of Australia (focus on cooler regions) & Student Presentations
    • Class 14: Australia, NZ & SA written exam & final tasting exam
    • Tue, January 16, 2018
    • Tue, March 20, 2018
    • 10 sessions
    • Prince George Hotel, 1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    The ability to assess the value and character of a wine is essential to a successful Sommelier. In this module, each successful participant will; develop your palate, your ability to discern quality and value and your ability to evaluate wines by: colour, weight, alcohol, taste, flavour, texture, complexity and finish. Learn to recognize poor quality, wine faults and spoilage; learn what causes the taint and explore possible corrective actions. Learn to recognize wines by style and taste profile in order to judge varietal typicity. Finally, become familiar with various strategies for pairing wine and food and get exposure to wine service skills.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf, Carman Mills and Simon Rafuse, and runs twice yearly, starting in September and January. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class #1: A brief history of wine; Where grapes grow; Introduction to making wine
    • Class #2: Introduction to sensory evaluation
    • Class #3: Oak types/treatments; Wine faults
    • Class #4: Light to medium-bodied dry whites
    • Class #5: Medium to full-bodied aromatic whites; Full-bodied, dry whites
    • Class #6: Sparkling wines; Sweet and Fortified wines
    • Class #7: Light to medium-bodied red wines; Light to medium red wines mellow and perfumed
    • Class #8: Medium to full bodied reds
    • Class #9: Brief primer on wine service, food & wine pairing, wine list types/styles
    • Class #10: Final written/tasting exams

    Course Evaluation:

    • 30% - Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 10%)
    • 50% - Final exam (Written: 30%; Blind tasting: 20%)
    • 10% - Presentation
    • 10% - Research paper (due day of presentation)
    • Sat, February 17, 2018
    • Sun, March 18, 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • The Old Triangle - 5136 Prince St, Halifax NS
    • 5

    Beverage alcohol culture has become much more diversified. In this section, students will learn about the major white spirits (gin, vodka, eau de vie, grappa, tequila, sake) of the world as well as the major brown spirits (scotch, whiskey, rye, rum, bourbon and brandies). Students will learn various production methods, differentiation in quality products, how to taste spirits, and the general principles of mixing drinks and cocktails. Students will also learn in depth about the production, and various styles of beer. Matching of beer and food will also be addressed. For those students who are interested in the Certified Beer Program we will be able to offer you a code (at cost) to write the exam online.

    Class 1: Beer Production, Evaluation & Introduction to Beer Styles

    Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018

    Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

    Instructor: Peter Goneau

    Class 2: Beer Styles (continued), Service & Food Pairing

    Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

    Instructor: Peter Goneau

    Class 3: A Study of Clear & Brown Spirits, Introduction to Mixology & Demonstration

    Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018

    Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm

    Instructor: Carman Mills

    Class 3: Beer & Spirits Written and Tasting Exams

    Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018

    Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

    Instructor: Carman Mills

      Course Evaluation
      • 30%:  Beer Theory Exam
      • 30%:  Spirits Theory Exam
      • 10%:  Beer Blind Tasting Exam (3-4 Beers)
      • 10%:  Spirits Blind Tasting Exam (3-4 Spirits)
      • 10%:  Coffee or Tea Research Paper
      • 10%:  Water or Cigar Research Paper

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