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Course Descriptions

Wine Appreciation (not a part of the CAPS Certification Program)

An introduction to the world of wine, presented in an informal manner, by one of the senior members of the organization. This takes place on a series of evenings and is designed to assist the novice in learning about wine styles, basic food and wine pairing, and general enjoyment of our favourite beverage.


Wine Professionalism/Sensory Evaluation

The ability to assess the value and character of a wine is essential to a successful Sommelier. In this module, develop your palate and ability to evaluate wines by colour, weight, alcohol, taste, flavour, texture, complexity and finish and to discern quality level and value. Develop the ability to recognize poor quality, wine faults and spoilage, including what causes the taint and possible corrective actions. Learn to recognize wines by style and taste profile in order to judge typicity, as well as to provide sound advice when pairing wine with food. Finally, build familiarity with various strategies of wine and food pairing as well as familiarity with various cooking techniques. Get exposure to wine service skills and strategies of wine and food pairing.


Winemaking - Methods of Wine Production (Viniculture and Viticulture)

Develop an in-depth knowledge of the techniques required to produce wines. Focusing on both viticultural and vinification practices, gain insight into the practice of winemaking and the tools at the disposal of the winemaker. Study the production processes in each stage and how these can affect the nature and quality of the product. The learning experience is enriched by on-site visits to a vineyard and winery.


Old World Wine Regions and Beer and Spirits) CAPS 20 4 hour classes (NS) or 10 full day classes (NB/PEI)

Part 1: In this class, students will explore the major ‘old world’ wine regions of the world. Heavy emphasis is place on the wines of France and Italy, but other countries studied include Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Greece. While in Wine Professionalism, students were encourage to analyze wines for faults and overall structure, this section of the course emphasizes understanding the regional character of a wine. Students will develop their palates in order to recognize the character and quality of the major wines of Europe by region, by learning the history, terroir, appellations laws and culture of these areas. Key producers and trends will be highlighted. Significant time will also be given to the study of non-appellation wines such as “Super” Tuscans and Vin de Pays wines. In this course, students will continue to develop tasting ability and wine assessment skills, with particular attention to local cuisine and classic pairings. Food and wine pairing tastings will be integrated into the class structure.

Part 2: Beverage alcohol culture has become much more diversified. In this section of the program, students will learn about the major white spirits (gin, vodka, eau de vie, grappa, tequila, sake) of the world as well as the major brown spirits (scotch, whiskey, rye, rum, bourbon and brandies). Students will learn various production methods, differentiation in quality products, how to taste spirits, and the general principles of mixing drinks and cocktails. Students will also learn in depth about the production, and various styles of beer. Matching of beer and food will also be addressed.


New World Wine Regions, Sommelier Management 18 4 hour classes (NS), 9 full day classes (NB/PEI)

Part 1: New World wine regions are quickly establishing market strength. This section of the Sommelier program examines the ‘New World’ wine regions including Australia, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, USA, and Canada, with special attention to the wines of Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. In this section of the course students will study the character and quality of the major wines of the New World, learning the history, terroir, culture, laws, leading producers and trends. Emphasis will be placed on the advancement of New World winemaking techniques and the influence of these developments within the New World wine regions and abroad. In this course, students will continue to develop their tasting ability and wine assessment skills, as well as knowledge of food and wine pairings.

Part 2: A successful sommelier not only has excellent product knowledge but also has the ability to relate that knowledge to guests in a restaurant or classroom setting. In this section of the course, students will learn where and from what sources to buy wine. Become skilled at sourcing, wine list development, sales and marketing, cellar management and inventory, and develop a knowledge of the law in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/P.E.I. Students will develop a professional manner with staff and learn the current human resource practices and training necessary to support a top-notch work force and operate a successful wine program. This will include service training to CAPS standards. This module concludes with a final service exam and a project. Students will be required to complete a staged experience to complete the module.


Sommelier Management and CAPS Service Exam


In this course, learn where and from what sources to buy wine in our region and abroad. Become informed at sourcing wine, wine list development, sales and marketing, cellar management and inventory, and develop a knowledge of the law in the Atlantic Provinces. Learn how to project a professional manner with staff and to apply some current human resource practices and training to support a high quality work force and operate a successful wine program. This module concludes with a final service exam and a project. In addition, canditates must complete a minimum of 30 hours of stage experience under the supervision of a full member. You must have successfully completed your stage experience to complete the module.