The team at National Wine School believes that the path to becoming a sommelier must become fair, open, and inclusive.
— Thanks to the team at National Wine School, wine enthusiasts and anyone who is looking to lock down a career in the industry can now secure their Sommelier certification with relative ease.
The wine trade is in the midst of a seismic change. For too long it has been home to a self-selected tribe of elites. Certification of sommeliers is currently shrouded in secrecy. Over the past year, media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post have begun uncovering the ugliness behind the sommelier exams, with credible reporting on sexual violence, racism, and corruption.
The process is failing a generation of wine lovers. The team at National Wine School believes that the path to becoming a sommelier must become fair, open, and inclusive. They also believe the path toward sommelier certification must be rigorous but widely distributed, and affordable. In order to achieve this, a new way of thinking is crucially required. That is why the National Wine School is offering a bold new type of sommelier certification.
The National Wine School (NWS) is releasing the first-ever online sommelier certification program. At its core, this program is designed to address the structural inequalities of the certification process. The program was developed by Alana Zerbe, the Director of Wine Education at the Wine School of Philadelphia, and Keith Wallace, a founding member of the National Wine School and the Wine School of Philadelphia.
“Here in Philadelphia, we have a very diverse wine culture.” says Keith “We have long felt that the national wine accreditation agencies did not represent or support our students.”
Using a propriety process developed by Keith at the Wine School of Philadelphia, NWS can now test and certify sommelier candidates remotely. Development of the process took years, including six months of bench trials with real sommelier candidates. The results were stunning: the NWS online sommelier programs are as effective in training and certifying wine professionals as in-person programming.
The online wine program includes sixteen classes streamed live, in-house wine tastings. online textbooks and a series of four sommelier exams, including a blind tasting proctored remotely. Exam results are available to the sommelier candidates within 24 hours.
Registration for this program is available via the Wine School of Philadelphia
Prior to his twenty-five-year career as a winemaker and professor, Keith was a journalist for a historically black newspaper. Alana was a human rights attorney in Washington D.C. before starting her decade-long wine career. Founded in 2001, the Wine School of Philadelphia is the main training facility for the National Wine School.
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