Wine Certification

The Sommelier Certification Program is comprised of the following six academic modules.

Courses are presented in chronological order. Courses may be taken in any order, however, other than Sensory Development & Wine Styles, which is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Students who complete Sensory Development & Wine Styles in Nov, for example, may proceed to New World Wine Regions in Jan, while students who complete Sensory in Mar may proceed to Old World in Sep.

Course Length Timeframe Cost
Sensory Development & Wine Styles 10 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Nov,
Jan-Mar
 $775
Old World Wine Regions 15 weeks, 1 evening per week Sep-Dec  $925
Beer, Spirits & Other Beverages 2 full days Dec  $350
New World Wine Regions 14 weeks, 1 evening per week Jan-Apr  $925
Sommelier Management 2 full days Apr  $395
Methods of Modern Winemaking 2 full days Apr  $350

Note: All prices +HST. Each student is also required to complete an on-site stage experience placement prior to certification.

Upcoming courses are listed below; online registration is available. Please feel free to contact Cheryl Doherty for more information.

Upcoming wine courses

    • Tue, September 18, 2018
    • Tue, November 27, 2018
    • 10 sessions
    • Prince George Hotel (participants to check events screen upon entry for room location) 1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    The ability to assess the value and character of a wine is essential to a successful Sommelier. In this module, each successful participant will; develop your palate, your ability to discern quality and value and your ability to evaluate wines by: colour, weight, alcohol, taste, flavour, texture, complexity and finish. Learn to recognize poor quality, wine faults and spoilage; learn what causes the taint and explore possible corrective actions. Learn to recognize wines by style and taste profile in order to judge varietal typicity. Finally, become familiar with various strategies for pairing wine and food and get exposure to wine service skills.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf, Carman Mills and Simon Rafuse, and runs twice yearly, starting in September and January. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class #1: A brief history of wine; Where grapes grow; Introduction to making wine
    • Class #2: Introduction to sensory evaluation
    • Class #3: Oak types/treatments; Wine faults
    • Class #4: Light to medium-bodied dry whites
    • Class #5: Medium to full-bodied aromatic whites; Full-bodied, dry whites
    • Class #6: Sparkling wines; Sweet and Fortified wines
    • Class #7: Light to medium-bodied red wines; Light to medium red wines mellow and perfumed
    • Class #8: Medium to full bodied reds
    • Class #9: Brief primer on wine service, food & wine pairing, wine list types/styles
    • Class #10: Final written/tasting exams

    Course Evaluation:

    • 30% - Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 10%)
    • 50% - Final exam (Written: 30%; Blind tasting: 20%)
    • 10% - Presentation
    • 10% - Research paper (due day of presentation)
    • Mon, September 24, 2018
    • Mon, December 17, 2018
    • 16 sessions
    • The PORT by NSLC, 5485 Clyde St., Customer Experience Room
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    This module explores the major wine regions of the old world including: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria and Hungary. In sensory evaluation, students study wines by weight and flavour. In this section students will assess wines according to where they are produced and are expected to recognize, by region, the character and quality of the major wines of Europe learning the history, terroir, laws, culture, leading producer and trends. Special attention is given to France and Italy since they share the largest part of the wine market in the world today. Students continue to develop tasting ability and wine assessment skills. In addition, special attention is paid to learning local cuisine and classic pairings.

    This course starts in September. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class 1: Wines of Bordeaux 1 (Focus on Left Bank)
    • Class 2: Wines of Bordeaux 2 (Focus on Right Bank)
    • Class 3: Wines of Burgundy 1 (Focus on Whites/Chardonnay)
    • Class 4: Wines of Burgundy 2 (Focus on Reds/Pinot Noir)
    • Class 5: Wines of the Rhone Valley and Loire Valley
    • Class 6: Wines of Champagne and Alsace
    • Class 7: Southwest: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Jura, Savoie, Corsica/ Presentations 1
    • Class 8: France Midterm/Student Presentations 2
    • Class 9: Wines of Italy 1 (Overview: North including Piedmont)
    • Class 10: Wines of Italy 2 (Central: Umbria, Marches, Tuscany & Islands)
    • Class 11: Italy Midterm/Student Presentations 3
    • Class 12: Wines of Spain
    • Class 13: Portugal, Greece, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe
    • Class 14: Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Student Presentations 4
    • Class 15: Final Exam

    Course Evaluation:

    • 25% – France Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 15% – Italy Midterm (Written: 10%; Blind tasting: 5%)
    • 40% – Final Exam (Written: 25%; Blind tasting: 15%)
    • 10% – Class Presentation
    • 10% – Attendance/Participation
    Save
    • Sat, December 01, 2018
    • Sun, December 16, 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • TBA
    • 15
    Register

    Beverage alcohol culture has become much more diversified. In this section, students will learn about the major white spirits (gin, vodka, eau de vie, grappa, tequila, sake) of the world as well as the major brown spirits (scotch, whiskey, rye, rum, bourbon and brandies).

    Students will learn various production methods, differentiation in quality products, how to taste spirits, and the general principles of mixing drinks and cocktails. Students will also learn in depth about the production, and various styles of beer. Matching of beer and food will also be addressed. 

    The Beer portion will be led by Lucas Mader and Evan Fougere, both certified Cicerone's and BJCP's.  The beer course serves as the CBS certification as well and can be taken for $225 +tax. 

    The dates are as follows;

    Dec 1 and 2 from 10-5 (Beer)

    December 8  from 10-5 (Spirits)

    December 16 from 10- 5 (Beer and Spirits Exam)

    The students who just take the beer component will receive a code to write the CBS online and do not have to attend the CAPS student exam on the 16th.

    Lucas joined Bishops Cellar in the fall of 2014 after a few years working in draught system management and customer service. He loves trying new wine, beer and spirits from regions around the world to see how styles change from place to place. He says working in this industry is like “history class and sightseeing, all in a glass”. He’ll expertly pour your growler fills and ask all the right questions to help you find the best styles for your taste.

    In his free time, Lucas is passionate about music (he plays the drums), cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors- whether it is from the back of his motorcycle or camping in the backwoods. 

    Certifications: Lucas is a Certified Cicerone and BJCP Recognized Judge. He has also been studying wine through WSET, recently completing Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Wine.

    Evan Fougere started working for the NSLC in 2012 while completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New Brunswick, and is currently a Product Specialist at the Wyse Road location. 

    He began studying beer, wine and spirits while working at the Port by the NSLC in 2016. He took a further interest in beer pursuing judging and his Cicerone Certification.


    In May 2018, Evan passed his Certified Cicerone exam and in October judged his first competition, the Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards through the BJCP.


    In his free time, you can find him walking his German Shepherd mix all around Halifax or at a local brewery, or beer bar stressing about his fantasy football team.



    • Sun, January 20, 2019
    • Sun, March 17, 2019
    • 9 sessions
    • Prince George Hotel (participants to check events screen upon entry for room location) 1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9
    • 13
    Register

    This module explores the major wine regions of the old world including: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Austria and Hungary. In sensory evaluation, students study wines by weight and flavour. In this section students will assess wines according to where they are produced and are expected to recognize, by region, the character and quality of the major wines of Europe learning the history, terroir, laws, culture, leading producer and trends. Special attention is given to France and Italy since they share the largest part of the wine market in the world today. Students continue to develop tasting ability and wine assessment skills. In addition, special attention is paid to learning local cuisine and classic pairings.

    This course starts in January 2019 

    Evaluation of Module 3:

    France Written Midterm 20%

    France Tasting Midterm 10%

    Final Written Exam 40%

    Final Tasting Exam 20%

    Research Project (Due: March 10th) 10


    Save
    • Tue, January 22, 2019
    • Tue, March 26, 2019
    • 10 sessions
    • Prince George Hotel (participants to check events screen upon entry for room location) 1725 Market St, Halifax, NS B3J 3N9
    • 6
    Register

    The ability to assess the value and character of a wine is essential to a successful Sommelier. In this module, each successful participant will; develop your palate, your ability to discern quality and value and your ability to evaluate wines by: colour, weight, alcohol, taste, flavour, texture, complexity and finish. Learn to recognize poor quality, wine faults and spoilage; learn what causes the taint and explore possible corrective actions. Learn to recognize wines by style and taste profile in order to judge varietal typicity. Finally, become familiar with various strategies for pairing wine and food and get exposure to wine service skills.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf, Carman Mills and Simon Rafuse, and runs twice yearly, starting in September and January. 

    Syllabus of Course Content:

    • Class #1: A brief history of wine; Where grapes grow; Introduction to making wine
    • Class #2: Introduction to sensory evaluation
    • Class #3: Oak types/treatments; Wine faults
    • Class #4: Light to medium-bodied dry whites
    • Class #5: Medium to full-bodied aromatic whites; Full-bodied, dry whites
    • Class #6: Sparkling wines; Sweet and Fortified wines
    • Class #7: Light to medium-bodied red wines; Light to medium red wines mellow and perfumed
    • Class #8: Medium to full bodied reds
    • Class #9: Brief primer on wine service, food & wine pairing, wine list types/styles
    • Class #10: Final written/tasting exams

    Course Evaluation:

    • 30% - Midterm (Written: 20%; Blind tasting: 10%)
    • 50% - Final exam (Written: 30%; Blind tasting: 20%)
    • 10% - Presentation
    • 10% - Research paper (due day of presentation)
    • Mon, January 28, 2019
    • Mon, April 29, 2019
    • 14 sessions
    • The Port Experience Room, 5485 Clyde St, Halifax, NS B3J 3T5
    • 1
    Register

    New World wine regions are quickly establishing market strength. This section of the Sommelier program examines the ‘New World’ wine regions including Australia, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, USA, and Canada, with special attention to the wines of Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. In this section of the course students will study the character and quality of the major wines of the New World, learning the history, terroir, culture, laws, leading producers and trends. Emphasis will be placed on the advancement of New World winemaking techniques and the influence of these developments within the New World wine regions and abroad. In this course, students will continue to develop their tasting ability and wine assessment skills, as well as knowledge of food and wine pairings.

    This course is instructed by Mark DeWolf and Carman Mills, and runs in January each year.

    Schedule for New World Wine Regions:

    January 28: New World winemaking techniques, wine closures and alternative packaging [Carman]

    February 4: Chile [Carman]

    February 11: Argentina [Carman]

    February 18: NW techniques & South America written exam [Carman]

    February 25: California 1 [Mark]

    March 4: California cont’d, Pacific Northwest & other USA [Mark]

    March 11: Canada - Ontario & BC [Carman]

    March 18: Nova Scotia [Carman]

    March 25: North America written exam [Mark]

    April 1: South Africa [Mark]

    April 8: Australia (focus on warmer regions) [Mark]

    April 15: Australia (focus on cooler regions) [Mark]

    April 22: New Zealand [Carman]

    April 29: SA, Australia & New Zealand written exam & final tasting exam [Carman]


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