I'd like to become a certified sommelier.
I'm 53, have a masters degree in computer science, and have been working as a software engineer for the past 25 years. I have no experience in the food/bev industry, except for a part-time job in high school, busing tables and washing dishes at a steak house. Over the past decade I've attended numerous wine tastings, visited wineries, and in general, developed a deep appreciation and love of wine (not to mention single malts and exotic rums).
It's time for a career move and I think I'd like to be a sommelier in the next phase of my life. So where to study?
I live in Denver, CO. Does anyone have any experience with, or knowledge of, these two learning centers in Denver. Furthermore, are the certifications they deliver recognized in the industry?
-International Wine Guild
-International Sommelier Guild
I've been doing some internet research and it looks to me like there is really no industry wide certification. True? Looks to me like every school has it's own certification with titles like: Wine Master, Certified Sommelier, and Master Sommmelier.
Any recommendations for other schools?
Back in 2006, in a related post on this forum, Gloria Frazee stated that the best known certification programs were offered by the following 3 schools. Still true?
-The Court of Master Sommeliers: does perodically offer courses in Colorado. However, their introductory course says one should have a minumum of three years experience in the industry.
-The Sommelier Society of America: courses offered in NYC
-American Sommelier: courses offered in NYC.
Last question: Am I kidding myself or is this a real possibility? Would anyone hire a 50 year old newly certified sommelier who has no industry experience?
On the topic of industry experience, what about experience from the other side of the table? As a guy who has no kids and makes a comfortable living as as computer geek, I eat out a lot! My girfriend and I enjoy fine dining and fine wine every week. So I know what good resturant service looks like.