What You Need To Know

Part 1: Restaurant Service and Salesmanship

The candidate is required to wear his or her normal working clothes, provide a corkscrew and other tools of the trade for the examination and should be able to:

  1. Discuss, recommend and serve aperitifs, displaying a sound knowledge of the products and the ability to serve them correctly.
  2. Select, prepare and position glassware necessary for the service of drinks in the lounge, restaurant, function room or private suite.
  3. Discuss menu content and wine list, recommending wines to accompany food, displaying a sound knowledge of the products, their vintage and characeristics.
  4. Present, offer and prepare, (decanting where necessary) and serve wines demonstrating a high degree of efficiency and proficiency.
  5. Present offer, prepare and serve brandies, and liqueurs. Handle queries and complaints with skill and diplomacy.
  6. Discuss the size of the measures that may be expected from each.
  7. Display a sound knowledge of Beverage Management.


Part 2: Theoretical Knowledge


  1. Speak with authority on wine regions of the world and their products.
  2. Know the principal grape varieties used in wine making and the areas of the world where they are cultivated.
  3. Answer questions on international wine laws, including those of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia and the USA.
  4. Display knowledge of fortified wines, their vinification, storage, and handling.
  5. Describe the various methods of distillation and production of spirits and liqueurs.
  6. Explain the process of making beers and cigars and the reasons for the variations in style between different products.
  7. Discuss how the products should be stored to ensure that they remain in the optimum condition


Part 3: Practical Tasting


The tasting examination relies on the candidate’s verbal abilities; clearly and accurately describing six different wines tasted blind, three white and three red.

Within twenty-five minutes he or she must: describe the appearance, aromas, structural components and identify, where appropriate, grape varieties, country of origin, district of origin and vintage of the wines tasted.

NB – No wines are examined in the Introductory exam, two wines in the Certified exam, six wines in both the Advanced and Master.