Core Wine Courses in Philadelphia

These are the essential courses for well-rounded wine education. We recommend students enroll in the Core Program, which bundles both Level Two and Level Three wine courses. You can take them separately, but if you register for the Core, you will take the classes in the same semester.  Not only do you save a significant amount of money, but it’s also an amazing experience. These programs are all in-person at the Wine School of Philadelphia. If you are looking to take an online wine course, please go to the online wine school page.

Core Wine Course (Winter Semester)

Limited Seating

Sundays, January 16th to March 6th from 2:30 pm – 7 pm. Earn a complete wine education in a si...

Intermediate Wine Program (Winter Semester)

Limited Seating

Sundays, January 16th to March 6th from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm. From the Italian peninsula to the d...

Wine Foundation Program (Winter Semester)

Limited Seating

Sundays, January 16th to March 6th from 5 pm – 7 pm. The Foundation program is truly a unique ...

Wine Certification Programs

Foundation
Level Two

In this course, our students develop wine tasting skills comparable to Master Sommeliers.

Intermediate
Level Three

In this wine course, we take you through the entire world of wine. Every essential wine region is covered.

The Core
L2 & L3

The Core Wine Course combines the Foundation and Intermediate into a unified wine education experience.

All courses last a full semester, except for the Accelerated Summer program. Sommelier certification is offered via the National Wine School and is compatible with all major wine diplomas.

The Top-Ranked Sommelier School

You are lucky to have the Wine School of Philadelphia.

Andrea Robinson, Master Sommelier

Highly Recommended! Fun, energetic, and entertaining, but it also provides barrels of useful information I got my start at the Wine School. I earned my diploma at the Wine School. I can’t recommend it enough.

I highly recommend the Wine School programs. I graduated from their Advanced program.

Neil Ross. Beverage Manager at Four Seasons

I earned my diploma at the Wine School. I recommend it. The best school for wine, period. I love it here. I love the academic programs, the exams are hard but fair. The courses are the best I have attended. The best option for learning about wine.

I got my start at the Wine School of Philadelphia.  You can’t go wrong, either.

Daniel Brennan, Winemaker at Decibel Wines

The Wine School is a great place to build knowledge and pursue your passion.

The wine school is great for learning. I earned my diploma at the Wine School. I recommend it.

Cancellation Policies for Wine Courses

If a student cannot attend a course, they must notify us at least thirty (30) in advance prior to the start date. With due notice, the student has the following options: first, transfer the registration to another person approved in advance by the Wine School; second, receive a  non-refundable credit on account which can be applied toward another course.  At the discretion of the school, reasonable administrative costs may be deducted from the total credit. 

If a student does not give thirty days’ notice, a school administrator may offer a refund, at the administrator’s sole discretion. The total of any refund will be no great than 25% of tuition paid, minus any class fees and reasonable administrative costs. 

America’s Top Wine Program

If you are ready to take the first big step into the world of wine, you are on the right page. Our semester-long programs are the highest rated in the country, earning a whopping 94 point rating from SOMM.

sommelier programs

National Wine School

The National Wine School is a professional sommelier certification agency located in California and Delaware. They test and certify sommeliers at three levels: sommelier, advanced sommelier, and master-level sommelier. Sommelier Certification is not mandatory. Students at the Wine School of Philadelphia can opt for any of our wine education courses without certification.

For sommelier certification, students must pass both the Level 2 and Level 3 exams. For an independent overview of wine, certifications check out SOMM. Students have the option of taking these wine courses one at a time or both in one semester. The CORE program allows you to take both programs in a single semester, which includes significant cost savings.

Online Sommelier Certification is Available

The National Wine School (NWS)

Located in Los Angeles and Delaware, the National Wine School offers wine certifications from Level One to Master Sommelier Certification. The school administers sommelier exams across the country and issues professional wine certificates. They are the only ACAP accredited sommelier school in America and the only wine school that is both ANSI and ADA compliant.  

I highly recommend the Core Program for people who have a general interest in food and wine, as well as those considering pursuing a degree or certification. As a professional chef and cooking instructor, this course helped me make more educated food and wine pairing suggestions. The school’s unique approach doesn’t rely on rote memorization of names and regions. Instructors engage your senses so you don’t just learn about the wines sampled. You learn ‘an approach’ to tasting any wine and to deducing regions, flavors, and pairings. I’ll be hanging on to my class notebook forever.

The industry trade group SOMM rates NWS as the top sommelier school in the US, and we wholeheartedly agree. Along with certification, NWS offers an online wine education site that is intuitive and easy to use. You can read about wine and take exams right from your smartphone. If you attend the Core Wine Course, you will have access to all of the National Wine School material.

Certification for the Wine Trade

Professional Sommelier School

Students can earn professional certification through the National Wine School. Along with professional certification, the National Wine School gives our students access to extensive reading material for each wine course.

The Wine School of Philadelphia does not issue university degrees or professional certifications. We rely on the NWS to issue sommelier certifications. If you are attending programs at the Wine School, we recommend opting for certification via the National Wine School when registering.

Badge icon "Wine (3635)" provided by Paul Berthelon, from The Noun Project under Creative Commons - Attribution (CC BY 3.0)

Sommelier Certification

If are looking to make a name for yourself in the wine trade, sommelier certification is essential.  This type of certification was originally intended for restaurant sommeliers. That has changed. Over the course of the past decade, it has become the de facto certification for all jobs in the wine trade.

To earn your sommelier pin,  you must earn the two core certifications: the Foundation and Intermediate certifications. At wine schools, these courses are typically called the Core Wine Program.

Level 1 Certification

Highly recommended and one of the most important certifications you can earn. This introductory program will give you the blueprint for your future in wine. This is an eight-class program that covers the key details of wine, much of which is never covered in traditional wine programs.

Level Two Certifcation

Level 2 Certification

To earn this certificate, you must complete a rigorous sommelier exam of two sections. The first section is a blind tasting, in which you will be required to identify the type, region, and winemaking technique of up to six wines. The second section is a wine knowledge exam.

On the East Coast, there are several schools qualified to teach this exam. The best of which is the Wine School of Philadelphia, which currently holds a 95% pass rate for its students.  To put that in perspective: the average pass rate is 53% nationally.

somm pin
Intermediate Sommelier Pin

Level 3 Certification

The Intermediate Wine Certificate requires the student to have a wide range of knowledge. To earn this award, you will need a comprehensive understanding of the global wine trade. You will be expected to know all major wine regions, the history of the wine trade, and the fundamentals of terroir.

There are three sections to this certification exam. The first section is an essay, the second is a deductive wine tasting exam, and the final section is an online sommelier exam.  

Advanced Sommelier Pin
Advanced Sommelier Pin

Level Four Certification

After earning their sommelier certification, a student can begin their quest for the Advanced Sommelier pin.  At the National Wine School, the Advanced Sommelier Certification is known as the Baccalaureate Vigne et Vin. The BVV is awarded only to exemplary students who have completed a minimum of four sections of the Advanced Wine Program and earned a recommendation by the National Wine School’s Director. The honor carries with it the right to the post-nominal letters of BVV.

master somm pin

Level Five Certification

Master Sommelier certification is one of the top achievements in the wine trade. At the National Wine School, the award is known as the  Diploma Oenotropae. It is only awarded to the top 1% of sommelier candidates. To achieve this award, one must earn the Advanced Sommelier award and complete the Master’s Thesis. The honor carries with it the right to the post-nominal letters of DOE.

There are three agencies that certify master-level sommeliers; One of which owns the trademark to the term “Master Sommelier”, which means the other two agencies cannot use that term on diplomas.  However, all three certifications (Master of Wine, Diploma Oenotrope, and  Master Sommelier) all refer to the same credentials: the Level V Sommelier Certification.

Learn About Wine from the Best Wine Instructors

sommelier certification

America’s Sommelier School

The National Wine School (NWS) is located in Los Angeles, California. The school offers the highest level of accreditation for sommeliers in America. NWS offers the same level of national and international certification as the Court of Master Sommelier and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Plus, the NWS offers professional California certification, which no other agency can offer.

Wine courses should be fun and engaging. Accreditation should be boring. It doesn’t need TV shows or movies. It’s about ensuring that people who earn the qualification can earn their sommelier certification, no matter where they go to school. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.

The National Wine School is the highest-rated sommelier school for a reason. We don’t hire PR firms, and we sure don’t have movies made about us. We offer industry-grade sommelier exams, accreditation, and professional certification. Our protocols are used in universities and trade schools, including some of the top wine schools in America.

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