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Continuing Education

Sommelier Certificate Program


*This program will be offered again in Spring 2015*

The Sommelier Certificate Program is an intensive, professional development program covering the fundamentals of food and beverage pairing, service and management, and sensory analysis. It incorporates lectures with tastings of wine, spirits, and beer. The program consists of three, four-credit courses, offered spring quarter at Central Washington University’s Ellensburg campus. It takes ten weeks to complete. Participants must attend all sessions and dedicate time to projects and assignments. Completing the program requires substantial out-of-class time.

Program Benefits

  • Knowledge of climates, soils, grape varieties, and wines of the world's major wine regions.
  • Ability to apply professional tasting techniques for assessment and evaluation of wine and other beverages.
  • Competency in pairing wines and other beverages with various foods.
  • Rapid entry into the dining and retail sides of the wine and beverage industry.
  • Confidence in choosing and serving wines and other beverages to consumers and professionals.

Description of Coursework

Fifty percent of wine consumption occurs in restaurants and other retail venues. The CWU Sommelier Certificate Program addresses the selling and serving of wine and other beverages, such as beer, spirits, sake, and coffee, in dining situations, along with proper cellarmanship techniques. Because sommeliers must be able to choose an appropriate beverage to accompany food, the program incorporates the fundamentals of food and wine pairing, while providing an overview of beverage and service standards for dining establishments. Students will have opportunities to learn sensory analysis skills through tastings of wines and beverages from around the world. Major Wine Regions of the World, GWS 303, must be taken prior to or in conjunction with the certificate courses.
Pre-requisite: GWS 303: Major Wine Regions of the World – 3 credits. Must be taken prior to or in conjunction with the certificate.

CourseCreditClass Name 
GWS 4054Food & Wine Pairing for the SommelierDetails
GWS 4074Beverage and Cellar Management for the SommelierDetails
GWS 4094Applied Professional Sensory AnalysisDetails

For complete admission requirements and program information, click here.

How to Apply

To print an application packet click here or call the World Wine Program at 509-963-1504. To have an application packet mailed to you, e-mail Applicants must include a short essay about his or her reasons and goals for enrolling in the Sommelier Certificate Program. An in-person or phone interview will also be required before program acceptance is granted. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older prior to the start of class. Mail completed applications to:

Central Washington University
World Wine Program
Attn: Frank Pangrazi
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7433

Financial Obligations

The fee for GWS classes may be higher than regular CWU tuition and is subject to change. Additional fees may also apply. The courses are eligible for student financial aid for matriculated CWU students. Tuition waivers are not allowed.

Refund Policy

More Information

Phone: 509-963-1504