Organizations that host sommelier education classes include The Court of Master Sommeliers, The International Sommelier Guild and The Institute of Masters of Wine. Each of these organizations offers a slightly different approach and varied classes that can help a wine aficionado take his or her knowledge to the next level.
The Court of Master Sommeliers requires four examinations before awarding the diploma and title of Master Sommelier. They hold courses, examinations and wine tastings throughout the United States and the world. The organization was started in 1969 in London, England.
The International Sommelier Guild provides classes for everyone ranging from everyday wine enthusiasts to those who wish to become instructors of future ISG sommelier educational programs. Their sommelier certification course is taught in a classroom environment. The ISG was started in North America in 1982 but has since expanded. They now have schools all over the world.
The study program to become a Master of Wine is self-guided. It culminates in an assessment followed by a theoretical and practical exam as well as a research paper. The Institute of Masters of Wine only accepts students that already have a strong background and understanding of wine. The first instance of the Masters of Wine exam was in 1953, and 416 people have earned the Master of Wine title as of 2015.