What is a Wine Consultant / Conseiller en Sommellerie ?

The “Sommelier Wine Consultant” / “Conseiller en Sommellerie” in French, selects the products to offer to his/her customers: wines and spirits. Before negotiations with suppliers, he/she must first proceed in the tasting. Procurement must be consistent with the framework, scope, reputation and customer requirements. He/she thus establishes the list of wines, after their evaluation and determines their year of issue. He/she must ensure the management of all alcoholic beverages available on the market. He/she also advises the customer on food and wine pairing. He/she is able to serve or explain the wine service to customers.

From a technical point of view, he/she must understand the principle grape varieties and the production of wines, know the great growths and producers of renowned wines and the different types of wines, as well as their respective characteristics.

In general, we find “Sommelier Wine Consultants / Conseiller en Sommellerie” in the restaurant business, merchant houses, production, wine tourism, sales or distribution whereby the principal function is to select wines, negotiate their terms of sale, present them and advise them directly or indirectly to customers and consumers.

The Sommelier Wine Consultant is an expert in wines, spirits, liqueurs, champagnes… His/her knowledge enables one to advise clients according to their tastes, desires and means. He/she is also responsible for inventory management in the company. He/she advises third parties on the wines that will appear on one’s restaurant wine menu or on a retailer’s product price list.

The Wine School film library

Discover our training program

Visit and conference at school

First day at school - The basic rules of tasting

What are the objectives of the training program and what degree am I awarded upon completion ?

  • Wine and spirits procurement
  • Tasting wines and spirits
  • Manage cellars and develop commercial offers
  • Consult clients on wine and alcoholic beverages
  • Organize promotional events and animate wine tastings

Anyone who is passionate about wines and spirits and holds a high school diploma

• 567 hours of theoretical training
2 Sessions per year:
Between April 2022 to September 2022, start of courses on 12th April 2022
Between September 2022 to March 2023, start of courses on 12th September 2022
• plus 280 hours of work placement / company internship

  • Sommelier
  • Wine shop personnel
  • Wine taster
  • Sommelier Sales coordinator
  • Beverage department manager
  • Wine and spirits sales personnel – import/export
  • Wine journalist
  • Etc …

What are the details of this training program, price ?


National Directory of Professional Certifications State Diploma recognized and controlled by the French government.

  • Tasting techniques and sensory analysis
  • In-depth study of French vineyards
  • In-depth study of foreign vineyards
  • Knowledge of spirits, cold and hot beverages
  • Wine and food pairing and practical workshops in collaboration with chefs
  • Sales and commercialization techniques
  • Fundamentals in Viticulture and Oenology
  • Wine industry and legislation
  • Wine markets and marketing
  • Commercial management and creation of a cellar / cellar management
  • Practical sommelier workshops
  • Technical visits
  • Following the vintage – in the vineyard and at the vat house
  • Participation in blending and futures
  • Student prizes
  • Conferences of the Interprofessional Committees (Wine Trade Bureaus) from the various wine regions
  • Former students
  • Owners, winegrowers, sommeliers, merchant houses, etc …
French wines: Wine tasting procedure and techniques: Spirits and aperitifs: Viticulture and oenology: 

Bordeaux global

Bordeaux history

Bordeaux – Côtes

Bordeaux AOP and IGs

Bordeaux – Graves and PL

Bordeaux – Libournais and AOPs

Bordeaux Sauternais and other sweet AOPs Bordeaux – Médoc

Southwest – global Southwest – Bergerac Southwest –

Gascogne Cahors and Gaillac Jurancon- Pyrenees

Burgundy global Burgundy Grand Crus

Burgundy Côtes d’Or Burgundy Chalon Burgundy Macon Burgundy Chablis







Loire Valley: global

Loire Valley: Nantes and Anjou Loire Valley: Touraine

Loire Valley: Center and Limagne Rhone Valley global

Rhone North and South Languedoc



Review: Bordeaux and Burgundy review: French wine regions global


Visual examination

Olfactory examination

Gustatory examination Analysis and Synthesis

Descriptive vocabulary Tasting notes

Method (review)

White varieties – Sauvignon, Semillon, Chard…

Red varieties – Cab., Merlot, Pinot…

Bordeaux blends

Rating / scoring wines

Comparative tests (odd man out)


Alcohol and sugars

Exogenous odors

Temperature and aeration

Different wine glasses

Sparkling wines



Commercial tasting

Sweet white wines

Timed tastings

Tannins and spices

Floral aromas



Regions – blind


Varietals – blind

Commenting / Summarizing

Blind tasting practice

Distilled beverages Fortified wines Aperitifs







White and Brown liquor – rums Cigars

The Grape vine

Growth cycle

Grape varieties

Terroir and geology

Composition of the grape berry Dry White wine vinification

Sweet White wine vinif

Red wine vinif

Rosé vinif

Wine grower calendar (review)

Disease and parasites in viticulture

Vinif alternative: carbonic, thermo

Wood and barrel aging, maturing

Sparkling wine vinif

Sulfur (S02)

Wine defects

MLF , White wine maturing on lees


Wine Industry & Legislation: Food and Wine pairing:  Beverages: Technical field trips:
Classification of alcoholic beverages: fermented

Classification of alcoholic beverages: distilled

Wine Industry 1: Production

Legislation: Labeling (basics)

Wine Industry 2: Commercialization

General Logistics and distributtion

Legislation: appellations

Legislation: classification


The International Wine market

Commercial management: Management (overview)

Pricing of wines – catalog – listing VAT


Reception merchandise

Cellar management – stock control (FIF0, LIFO) Finances and inventory control

Pricing (case study) linear

Cash register – sales


Basics of Food and Wine pairing 

Wine lists (preparing) 

Gastronomy Bordeaux 

Gastronomy Burgundy

Gastronomy Alsace

Wine and Cheese workshop

Gastronomy Beaujolais

Wine lists (cont.)

Types of wine and cuisson of dishes


Wine selling (basics)

Gastronomy Loire Valley

Gastronomy Rhone Alpes

Defending student wine list

Provincial cooking

Wine selling (pitching / suggesting) indiv. students Gastronomy Languedoc Roussillon

Wine and Chocolate workshop

Gastronomy Corsica

Selling other (non-wine) beverages

Gastronomy Jura / Savoie

Wine lists (finished)

Exam preparation

Cold beverages:

Beer production (brewing) and tasting

Bottled waters

Non-alcoholic cold beverages and virgin cocktails

Hot beverages: Coffees


Coop. and/or merchant house and Planet Bordeaux

Saint Emilion (Reds and Les Cordeliers Sparkling)


Cognac – Pineau de Charentes Blending at sponsor Sauternes

Wine shop cellar Bordeaux Wine Tradeshow


Côtes de Bordeaux

Wine service: Wines of the World –  Wine marketing: French wine language:

The profession of Sommelier

The tools of a Sommelier

Bottle opening – presentation

The model cellar




Protocol – pre-service


Test runs

Decanting – aerating (review procedure/gestures) Sparklings (review and practice)

Conservation open bottle

South Africa



Hungary – Tokay





New Zealand 




Overview, history, and principals

The marketplace

The stakeholders

The consumer and segmenting Market study and marketing research The marketing mix

The promotional mix

Sensory marketing

Point of sale POS (organization)

Web marketing and social networks Marketing case study

Communication doc

French language learning courses around the world of Wine

Food and wine pairing tasting workshops (chef and sommelier)

Promotional events and Wine tourism: Presentation

Types of events



Planning and organizing an event

Managing suppliers

Selection of wines and organizing a tasting

Wine tourism and reception at the wine estate Benchmarking event return on investment

Different sectors of Wine tourism and stakeholders

Oral expression

The tuition price of this training program is 6875€ which includes a reservation/pre-enrollment deposit fee of 1 500€.

More information about registration details

The price includes:

  • French wines & World Wines
  • Wine tasting procedure and techniques
  • Spirits and aperitifs
  • Viticulture and oenology
  • Wine Industry & Legislation
  • Commercial management
  • Food and Wine pairing
  • Cold beverages
  • Hot beverages
  • Technical field trips
  • Wine service
  • Trade conferences and guest speakers
  • Wine marketing
  • French wine language
  • Promotional events and Wine tourism
  • Tests

How does the training take place ? (Courses + internship)

The training takes place at the 108 Quai des Chartrons in Bordeaux.

9 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
From Monday to Friday.

  • In school classes go from:
    September – January
  • Internship during the months of:
    February – May
  • Exams and thesis defense:
  • In school classes go from:
    February – May
  • Internship during the months of:
    Mid-June – August
  • Exams and thesis defense:
    Mid-June (Exams) Late September (thesis defense/juries)

What are the dates for the next training sessions ?

  • Spring session starting April 2022 : from 12th April 2021 to September 2022
  • Autumn session starting September 2022 : from 12th September 2022 to March 2023

The Library of CAFA Wine School

How to come to Bordeaux and do the training ?

Concerning the Visa:

If we accept you as a candidate, the attestation (proof) of enrollment that we provide will allow you stay in France as a student up until the final jury exams and this includes the 6 week internship if you decide to do it in France.

If you are not a citizen of the European Union country, you must go to the French Embassy or Consul in your country and present your CAFA enrollment attestation to procure your visa. We have students from all over the world who come to the CAFA Sommelier school, getting a visa is not a problem.

CAFA Wine School / CAFA Formations has no housing and has no partnership with a housing organization.
On the other hand, we can help you and guide you in finding accommodation as much as possible.

To help you in your search:

Our address is the 108 Quai des Chartrons 33000 Bordeaux (opposite the Hangar 14)

The tram B passes just in front of the school (tram stop: Cours du Médoc)

Most students look for room-mates online as Bordeaux is a giant University town with over one quarter of a million students (second largest student population in Europe), so people are looking for room-mates or people are renting rooms for students all the time.

** It is a good idea however to organize your lodging in advance, as most schools start at the beginning of September in Bordeaux **

Prices range anywhere from 250- 400 Euros/month for sharing (room-mate) a room and 400 – 600 Euros/month for having your own room completely furnished

Here are some useful links in your search :

ecole du vin bordeaux

For sharing with a room-mate (« colocataire » in French):

About the internship and career plans?

Your training program includes 6 weeks of internship during the period devoted to this. You have the opportunity to do your internship in France and abroad.
We ask that the students try to find their own internship (it is unpaid, it is not a job), but we certainly help if we can; especially if the internship is in France, as we have built a massive network with Wine and Food companies for the last 30 years. We also have contacts throughout the world, many in Asia.

CAFA Wine School Ecole de sommellerie Training in wine and spirits bordeaux

Former students Alumni : What happened to them?

Supriya Anand - Inde

founder The food Media Company in India
Journal specializing in food and wine

Bram Bolwijn - Pays Bas

Ambassador and wine business development manager
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

Vanessa Camponogara - France

Consultant for Domaines Tournels winemaking

Alena Doronina - Chypre

Director at Travel Story Tours


Wine journalist
Phoenix New Media Lilled (Wine Chanel)


Commercial Director at Château des Tourelles


Director of Wine Purchasing
Oceana Restaurant in New York

Karina Nasibyants - Ouzbékistan

Aera Export Manager - Eastern Europe and CIS - Maison Belliard

Imayavaramban Loganathan - INDE

F&B Operation manager, at the Dining Company

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How to register ? Is what I can get a quote?



  • The courses given in our school in the center of Bordeaux, in the wine merchants’ area
  • All subjects taught
  • Tastings
  • Field visits
  • The provision of flavors and solutions
  • Ongoing assessments
  • Educational materials
  • Internship(s) in company
  • The intervention of experienced and qualified trainers
  • Practical work
  • Preparation for the examination
  • Registration for the exam
  • Sponsorship of promotion by a renowned institution

CAFA Wine School

Contact us