Professional Wine Knowledge (Sommelier)



New opportunities for careers in wine have recently become available, reflecting global interest and demand for fine wines.

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine is the only WSET® authorised provider in New Zealand offering a 12 week classroom based teaching programme. WSET® is the qualification awarding division of the London Wine & Spirit Education Trust and accredited by the British qualifications authority. These qualifications are essential for students wishing to study for the Masters of Wine.

This intensive programme offers the hospitality professional or the wine enthusiast an international qualification that provides a thorough understanding of the principle wines and spirits of the world and key factors influencing style, quality and value.

Each week you will learn about international wines from all major wine producing countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Australia through tastings and self-directed study. You will study the principles underlying food and wine matching as well as learn how Microsoft Excel can be used to present and cost wine lists and manage inventory control. There will be a visit to well-known local vineyards where you will learn about viticulture and wine making practices from highly respected wine makers. The programme includes practical hospitality workshops and a real workplace experience to test your wine knowledge and service skills.

To ensure you receive all of the training required to operate within the hospitality industry you will also receive your Food Safety and Licence Controller qualifications.

Please click here to download a copy of our 2014 Brochure.

Entry Requirements

  • Aged 18 or over
  • University level of English

Pathways to further study

Graduates can return to NZSFW to join the Certificate in Cookery to learn about culinary arts.

Career Opportunities

You will be able to work as a wine and spirit professional in all fields of the hospitality, service and wine industries. This may be in your own business, or in wine retail outlets, wineries, wine companies, resorts, lodges, cruise liners, luxury yachts, restaurants or cafés - there are many opportunities to explore once you graduate.


All graduates have access to the NZSFW Internship Placement Service and internships.


What Qualifications will I Gain?

  • WSET® Level 1 (Foundation) Award in Wines
  • WSET® Level 2 (Intermediate) Award in Wines & Spirits
  • WSET® Level 3 (Advanced) Award in Wines & Spirits
  • NZSFW Certificate in Professional Wine Knowledge, Sommelier
  • Certificate in Food Safety
  • Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) unit standards

Programme Start Dates

Monday - Friday 9am - 2:30pm

  • 28 January - 18 April 2014
  • 19 May - 8 August 2014
  • 1 September - 21 November 2014

Course Fees

New Zealand Students/Australian Students:

  • NZ$3,950
  • + WSET® texts books and examinations of $850
  • Total fees: NZ$4,800*

International Students:

  • NZ$7,820
  • + WSET® texts books and examinations of $850
  • Total fees: NZ$8,670

Fees include WSET® examination fees, textbooks, wine tastings, day trips and guest lectures.

Part time weekend option

Programme Dates

Saturday & Sunday 9am - 4pm

Introduction to Wine

  • 5, 6 August
    19, 20 August (exam)

WSET Level 2 (Intermediate)

  • Option 1: 12 & 13 April
    17 & 18 May (exam)
  • Option 2: 16 & 17 August
    30 & 31 August (exam)

WSET Level 3 (Advanced)

  • 20, 21 September 2014
  • 4, 5 October 2014
  • 18, 19 October 2014
  • 8, 9 November 2014
  • 29, 30 November 2014

Course Fees

    New Zealand Students/Australian Students:

  • NZ$2,450
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