Is this the right course for me?

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Knowing what to expect from any training program or educational course is important when you’re deciding if it’s right for you. By choosing to invest in yourself, you’re making a commitment to spending your time and money wisely. Along with these financial and personal decisions, you also need to know how a training program is designed to help you learn.


We have created the Certified Wine Expert training program to empower you to learn whenever and wherever you like – using multiple learning styles and fun achievable activities that help you sharpen your skills and help you focus on building a wine career. Certified Wine Expert is a self-paced online training program that is also instructor-led.


So, what is self-paced online training?

According to the Journal of Educational Computing Research:  “Self-paced, online courses are a specific type of online training in which students use a Web browser to access a course management system and complete Web-based courses at their own pace. While completing these courses, students do not interact with an instructor or other students.” 


The benefit of a self-paced online program is that it makes it very convenient for you to study how you want, when you want – study when the kids are in bed or at home in your pajamas.  And at the speed you want.  For example, you might want to understand the big picture so you may skip ahead to a later lesson, while another student wants a step-by-step process and will follow every lesson in order. A self-paced program allows you the freedom to take your time and not have to wait for others to catch up.


If you’re thinking that self-paced might sound a bit lonely, well it doesn’t have to be (unless you prefer to work alone). There are several activities in our program designed to encourage interaction with people in the industry and even interview a wine professional. You can also Ask the Instructor any questions that come up during your studies.  


Like anything, you need to decide if a self-paced program is right for you.  If you’re not too keen on the idea studying on your own or think you will do better in a live classroom setting, then you may want to consider another program that may work better for you. (But we’d love it if you gave us a try!)


We’re here when you need us!

We want you to succeed, so if you need to reach out to an instructor during your program, each Course Module has an Ask the Instructor feature to email any questions that may come up during your studies. Your instructor will provide meaningful feedback on any written assignments so you will know if you’re on the right track! You will receive instant feedback on your learning progress with the help of our online flashcards and practice quizzes. And your instructor will monitor your progress. If it looks like you may be stuck, need some help or a little encouragement to keep on going, we’re here to coach you.


Understanding how you learn

The actual process of learning involves several factors including audio, visual and kinesthetic methods – this means that your brain may tend to learn best by hearing, seeing or doing an activity. We know that everyone benefits from learning in multiple ways, so our courses involve all three aspects.


Certified Wine Expert Training Methods




Watch the Lesson Overview Video



Review the online Lesson Flashcards


Read the Lesson from the Core Curriculum Textbook



View Regional Maps & Illustrations


Practice sensory evaluation with Wine Aroma Kit


Take the online Practice Quiz


Complete and submit the Written Assignment


Complete Independent Study and Field Assignments




Build retention with Vocabulary Flash Cards



Career goal setting



Retaining what you learn

Your brain is designed to learn and remember more when you actually DO things rather than when you read about things, so Certified Wine Expert has included a number of activities including research and field activities. An independent study and written assignment "scaffolds" on previous lessons, building upon what you have already learned in prior modules.


We make the lessons relatable to a specific wine region that you would like to concentrate on as the focus of your assignments. We also ask you to observe and make evaluations or judgments. Since wine is subjective, we include assignments that don’t have a straight answer because your brain will learn and remember more when it has to work it out. The more you engage your brain, the more likely you will focus, remember and be even more successful in learning over a longer period of time.


Apply what you learn immediately to your career success

With this program, we give you the information you need to decide which career path you want to choose. By going through our training, you get the core knowledge; vocabulary and skill set you need to prepare for a career change. By giving you structured assignments based around a fun activity, we are helping you sharpen your interviewing skills and giving you the tools to start networking. By having you interact with other professionals for your assignments, we are helping you make connections in the industry right away that may even help you land a job! You will also have access to several job boards for the wine, food and hospitality industries as well as resources to help you create your resume, cover letters and business cards.


Time & Money Commitment

You’re building the foundation for your wine career by investing in your education. The return on your investment for this training means that you will have skills and knowledge to last a lifetime. By taking this course you will be learning about wine’s history, vocabulary, science, economics and geography! You will also build up your skills in sensory perception and evaluating wine aromas. Assignments and activities will also help you apply your knowledge and encourage you to interact with wine professionals. In addition to becoming proficient in wine, the lessons will give you the knowledge you need to decide what career path you wish to take. 


Finding the training that's right for you

There are many different types of wine training programs to choose from. Some may or may not include certification. Many wine professionals may choose to hold several certifications as well to invest in their own career advancement. Depending upon your time commitment, budget and personal goals, you can decide what program is right for you by asking the following questions:


What is the format of the training? Is it online, in a live classroom. Which do I prefer?
How far will I need to travel? Are there any classes near my home or will I have to travel out of state to take the classes or exams.
Are there any pre-requisites? Do I need to have prior experience in wine or pass a pre-qualification process to take the course.
How long will the program take? Am I looking at a few months, a couple of days or even a year or so in order to get the courses I need to get my certification.
How often are the courses/exams made available? Will I need to wait for the courses/exams to be available to me or offered again if I need to re-test.
How much will it cost? What are the tuition fees and cost for books/materials. Are there other expenses I will incur through travel and lodging if I need to go out of town to take the course or exam.
What type of certification is offered? For the job I want to pursue, what level of certification will work for me.


Understanding differences between training programs

There is a wide range of different training programs available for different people and learning styles. Ranging from basic wine appreciation courses to intensive long-term sommelier training programs. Some programs are so demanding or exclusive that only a few people worldwide may have successfully completed the course. Some programs may also require that you have previous work experience or related wine knowledge for you to succeed or even enroll in the program. There may also be charges to retake any courses or exams. Also consider that certification from programs that are only one to two days long are less likely to be retained since you’re only engaging your brain for a brief period of time.


How we are different

Certified Wine Expert provides education when you’re ready. There are no classrooms to drive to, no parking permits to pay for and no student body fees. No exams that you have to take on campus. The course curriculum beats (if not matches) many of the programs offering certification and is delivered in a straightforward and supportive online training environment. You can take the course modules and the certification exam as you are ready. With our program, there's no waiting for courses to become available and dragging out your learning over semesters. You can start right away! You are not subject to waiting for course availability and class or exam schedules. No waiting for others to catch up with you and no feeling lost if the rest of the class may be moving ahead if you’re not ready. Your time is spent as you decide.


More information about the program at FAQs


If you're serious about getting your Certified Wine Expert® credentials and building your credibility, visibility and success in a wine career of your choice, we urge you to GET STARTED!


Certified Wine Expert® Program Has Been Approved by the American Culinary Federation for 100 Continuing Education Hours.