The world of wine certifications is quite often questioned by the layman. However, those in the industry know the power of wine certification and how it can help kickstart and grow a strong and powerful career in the wine industry. In fact, the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier exams are known to be some of the toughest exams in the world.
In recent years, the wine industry in India has grown immensely, with an extensive number of people portraying interest in the avid world of wine. Not only has wine consumption increased in India, but the way people look at wine has also changed.
Today, people respect the wine industry more than ever. Sommeliers, WSET graduates, and Masters of Wines are as respected in India as they are internationally.
As many people are looking to thrive in the Indian wine industry, the one thing that they need to focus on is getting the right certifications. India now offers a range of certifications that can help you grow in the wine industry.
So let’s look at the top 5 wine certifications in India that will put you on the wine map.
1. Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)
It’s no secret that the WSET is one of the most reputable wine qualifications across the world. Founded in 1969, WSET started off as a charitable organisation to help the educational sector of the wine and spirits industry in the UK. WSET started off in the UK, but by 1977, they had already started expanding abroad, with courses in Ireland and Canada.
Today, WSET is one of the largest organisations dedicated to the wine and spirits industry, with qualifications available in over 70 countries and in 15 languages.
The various qualifications under WSET include:
Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Award in Wines.
Level 4 Diploma in Wines.
Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Award in Spirits.
Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Award in Sake.
WSET has helped many people kick start their journey in both the wine and spirits sectors, and has alumni of some of the most prominent people in the industries. Notable alumni include Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, Gerard Basset OBE, MW, MS, MBA, Sonal Holland MW, Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Yang Lu MS, and many more.
2. The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS)
The Court of Master Sommeliers was founded to uplift the standards of the beverage world in hotels and restaurants. CMS is a service based certification, and is also known to be one of the top tier certifications in the world of wine.
CMS has four levels, namely Introductory, Certified, Advanced, and Master Sommelier. It’s no doubt that the Master Sommelier exam is one of the hardest exams across the globe, and has put many wine experts on the map. In today’s day and age, there are only 269 Master Sommeliers around the world.
A certification from CMS will direct you towards the service sector in the wine industry. Over the years, many CMS graduates have created quite a name for themselves in the industry. In the wine world, having the Master Sommelier (MS) title is one of the highest ranks out there.
Currently, India only offers the first two branches of CMS (Introductory and Certified).
3. Advanced Wine Pro
When it comes to wine certifications in India, the Advanced Wine Pro by Sonal Holland Wine Academy is unrivalled. The Advanced Wine Pro (AWP) is the ideal way to grow in the Indian wine industry. Designed by India’s first and only Master of Wine, Sonal Holland, AWP helps students dive into the ins and outs of the wine industry.
The course covers everything a wine professional needs to know, from understanding the vine plant, to vineyard management, service of wine, different grape varieties, styles, and much more.
Not only that, but the Sonal Holland Wine Academy also helps in offering their students placements in some of the country’s top hospitality and beverage establishments once the certification is complete.
4. Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)
The Certified Specialist of Wine exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions that test one’s knowledge of wine. It covers everything one needs to know about wine, and also dives into the service sector of the beverage industry.
CSW’s curriculum includes topics such as Physiology of Taste, Wine Composition & Chemistry; Faults; Viticulture & Enology; Labels, Laws & Wine Regions; The U.S. Wine Industry; Wine’s Contribution to Health; Wine Etiquette & Service; Food & Wine Pairing; and Responsible Beverage Alcohol Service.
5. Wine Scholar Guild
Consisting of a plethora of wine region certifications, Wine Scholar Guild’s programmes help you understand and learn about some of the most prominent wine regions in the world, including France, Italy, and Spain.
They also offer Master-level programmes which dive into specific regions like Champagne, Loire, Bordeaux, and recently added, Bourgogne. Along with that, the Wine Scholar Guild also has other certifications like Soil Signatures, Science of Wine Tasting, and more.
Are you looking to take a step ahead in the wine industry? Then reach out to us at [email protected] and let us help you get your first certification.
Originally published May 19, 2022