Wine Education

American Sommelier Announces Six-Day Immersion Course in L.A.

After successful programs in the Bahamas and Napa Valley, American Sommelier is bringing the condensed,  six-day intensive version of its flagship 24 week Viticulture & Vinification Course to Los Angeles. Popular with wine enthusiasts and industry professionals alike, the immersion program will be held March 26-31, 2012 at Hollywood's legendary Roosevelt Hotel. Once again, American Sommelier President and CEO Andrew Bell will be the primary lecturer, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the wine industry and 12 years as an educator to this accelerated program.

"Students who start the course not knowing how to choose an appropriate bottle of wine graduate with an A-Z understanding of wine they can really use," Bell said. "The comprehensive curriculum is so well received that close to 85% of students who participate in the course for credit earn a passing grade."

The Viti-Vini immersion follows the same curriculum as the 24 week course, recommended for both professionals in the wine and hospitality industries as well as wine aficionados looking for a rigorous approach to wine education. Students learn about the elements of viticulture & vinification and their effects on wine, in addition to how to apply this practical knowledge on the job or as a consumer. The course covers a wealth of information including varieties, climate, geography, soil, wine making, industry regulations, grape growing economics and food pairings. All students receive a certificate of completion and graduates receive the American Sommelier silver pin.

"Our unique lecture style is designed to help students easily understand, assimilate and enjoy the material covered," Bell said. "That's why American Sommelier has such a diverse audience. While about 70 percent of our students and members work in the hospitality industry, the remaining 30 percent come from a variety of backgrounds including law, finance, media, and medicine-to name just a few."

The Viti-Vini course will take place at the four-star Roosevelt Hotel, a Hollywood mainstay since 1927. Located across from Grauman's Chinese Theater and named after Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel has hosted such Hollywood icons as Marilyn Monroe, Will Rodgers and Frank Sinatra.

Upon registration, students re­ceive a reading list and sample quiz, with guidelines on how to focus their stud­ies and preparation.  Daily sessions consist of a series of region-based lectures paired with wines that illustrate key edu­cational points, with the final 30 minutes open for questions and review.  One of the highlights of the program is an afternoon class field trip to a nearby vineyard followed by an optional group dinner. On the sixth morning, a cumulative final exam is designed to test ability and synthesize the material. Tuition for the course is $3,000, with a limited amount of scholarships available for students who can demonstrate financial need. The deadline for early registration is February 1st.

American Sommelier has a proven track record of successfully placing course graduates.  Students who enter as bartenders, front of house and wait staff have gone on to become award-winning sommeliers at leading hospitality establishments around the world.  Among the distinguished sommeliers who studied at American Sommelier are - Crystl Faye Horton-Friedman of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House (New York, NY), Matthew Feddock of Geoffrey Zakarian's The National in The Benjamin Hotel (New York, NY) and Erin Martin, National Sales Manager for Laird Winery (Yountville, CA).

For more information, go to

About American Sommelier

American Sommelier is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about wine. Committed to empowering both the consumer and professional to make informed and intelligent choices, the organization serves as a forum where all wine lovers may gather to speak as equals. American Sommelier offers a comprehensive curriculum of wine education and provides a wide range of additional benefits to its members. The organization hosts seminars, tastings, and networking opportunities to enhance knowledge and skills and to promote a vibrant wine community. Since 1998, American Sommelier has hosted the biennial "Best Sommelier in America" competition that recognizes excellence in the wine service industry. The organization creates custom experiential and advisory services for individuals, groups, and corporations both in and out of the hospitality industry. From cellar consultation and wine list development to job placement and insider wine journeys, American Sommelier's mission remains the same: to cultivate awareness, understanding, and appreciation for wine.

THE TASTING PANEL, 6345 Balboa Blvd, Ste. 111, Encino, CA 91316
Content ©2016 THE TASTING PANEL magazine. All rights reserved