Introductory Sommelier Course

I am taking the Inro Sommelier course and exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers in March. Has anyone taking this course and exam before? Should I read all of the books listed on their website? Please let me know. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Original Post
There were some people in the class I took that knew very little about wine and still passed the test. Bordeaux was an important topic and would account for 15% of the questions on the test. I didn't take notes and had the 2nd highest score in my class. It was review stuff for me.

If you know the varietals of the major European wine growing regions, you should be fine.
Berno hit it on the nose. They give you clues during the class as to what is on that test. Very easy questions. And the written test is similar on the Certified Sommelier exam as well. It is that service component you have to watch out for but if you have some waiter exp, you should be fine. Just pay close attention to their instructions to the role play scene,. As odd as this may sound, just showing that you paid attention to their instructions goes a long way. Good luck. Let me know if you want to ask more. I completed the British WSET Diploma in wines and spirits as well as the 2 courses with Court of Master Somm.
I'm going to have to disagree slightly. I read that it was so easy you don't have to read the book, etc. There's questions about fortified wines and even questions on sake that I didn't read and didn't pay too much attention to during class. However, if you review the stuff they send you and have an understanding of wine, you should be okay. I was the only person in my row of 5 people that passed haha...

They call your name one by one and I happened to be one of the later calls so I did get nervous not wanting to tell people I what others called the easiest test ever.

Then again, I do know someone who's failed it a couple of times.
I belive the Intro Course/Exam has a passing rate north of 60%, perhaps as high as 70%. As John mentioned, Certified exam questions are fairly easy as well, the service part is what you have to watch out for. Also, avoid taking the Certified Exam in Vegas unless you are a local...
In July, they said Level 1 was around 90% and then the CS Exam was in the 60% range.

Yes there are questions on the test that were not mentioned in the intro class about Sake, what cru is a certain Bordeaux...

They give enough info for a person who know little about wine a chance to pass. I wish I got a free pass from it, quite expensive.
quote:
Originally posted by WineBug:
I was also going to take this course at the end of March, but ended up getting wait-listed. :-(

Powell Yang: Why don't you recommend taking the certified exam in Vegas?

Anyone get wait-listed and still get in?


I've heard some horror stories about the certified exams in Vegas for those are not "local". Basically they screw with you more than usual and makes it harder to pass the wine service portion of the exam if you are not from Vegas.

I am not sure where you are located, but I've also heard the exam in Campbell, CA is the easiest one to pass.
quote:
Originally posted by The Schoolmarm:
Hi KM,

At WineSpectatorSchool.com we've had a lot of folks study for their sommelier exams by taking the course called Understanding Wine.

To help you on your way, if you pop me an email at wss@mshanken.com, I'll give you a code for 40% off the course.

Happy studying!
Your fellow wine nerd,
Gloria


Gloria, I'm just seeing this thread. Is the discount you mention on the intro sommelier course or the Spectator Understanding Wine course? My wife and I have taken several of the WS courses and enjoyed them all, learned a great deal. Thanks.

Brian Crabtree
Raymond MS
Question for anyone who has taken the Intro course through Court of Master Sommeliers:
I am preparing to take the course in 2 weeks. I have most of the recommended books (haven't read them cover to cover, but have looked through them extensively) so I think I'm good on that end.
One question: Is this the kind of thing where I should bring my laptop, or will a notebook do? I don't want to look like the geeky (or underprepared) kid on the first day of school!
Maybe they changed the format, but when I took this in 2007, they hinted about the answers to the test qu throughout the introd course. I forgot whether they provided the ppt handouts but it was a breeze. They use a book by Julyan, easy test qu, very high passing rate - unless it all changed but doubt it could have changed too much. I didn't use a laptop.

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