Sommelier training programs are usually offered through college hospitality departments or extended studies programs. Once enrolled, students can learn wine-tasting techniques and how to pair wines with different types of cuisine; these programs can lead to a specialized certificate, diploma or degree.
The three schools profiled below were nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Each provides a notable educational offering for aspiring sommeliers.
University of Houston in Houston, TX
|School Highlight: Sommelier students at this university will take two fundamental courses in order to become certified and thus eligible for the sommelier diploma program.|
UH's International Sommelier Program offers a 6-month sommelier diploma program. To be eligible for this program, students must first have successfully completed a two-part Wine Fundamentals program with a better-than 70% passing grade.
Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI
|School Highlight: The Hospitality College at Johnson and Wales in Providence offers six undergraduate degree options.|
The College of Hospitality at J&W offers a number of degrees in hospitality-related areas, including lodging, tourism management and culinary arts. Students enrolled in the hospitality program can choose a concentration in sommelier studies. Core coursework includes topics in winemaking, spirits management and mixology.
J&W also offers continuing education courses and certificate programs for those who want to learn about wine and spirits without completing a degree program. These courses are aimed at preparing wine enthusiasts for professional credentialing exams, such as the Certified Specialist of Wine exam.
Florida International University in Miami, FL
|School Highlight: Students in the Hospitality Management program can choose between 6 minors.|
While earning a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management at Florida International University, students can pursue a minor in Beverage Management. This 12-credit course sequence includes courses in the business of wine and wine technology, merchandising and marketing.
Top Sommelier Programs
Here are a few more schools that offer relevant training in this field:
- San Diego State University in San Diego, CA, offers a Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine.
- Sonoma State University in Rohnert, Park, CA, offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with an emphasis on the wine business.
- The University of South Carolina in Columbia is home to the Culinary and Wine Institute at Carolina.
Aspiring sommeliers can find focused programs in wine-related topics, or they can get training within broader hospitality programs. Instruction in this field is available through well-regarded colleges and universities, including the University of Houston, Johnson and Wales University and Florida International University.