Wine School & Masterclass Schedule 2016
Vineyard Series at Wente, Livermore, CA
CS Sommelier Certificate Immersion Course
Seminars & Wine Luncheons
Sunday, August 21 to Friday August 26
Hotel Plan Available, Limited Space - Inquire
Sunday 4pm to 7pm: Orientation & Sensory Evaluation Major Varietals
Monday to Thursday 9am- 6pm
Course Study / Visit the Vineyards / Winery Tour & Wine Tasting
Wine School Tuition Includes Books & Materials: $750 pp
Group Luncheons Monday - Thursday $95 pp all inclusive
Visit www.ussommelier.com Store or
Course Administrator: Phyllis Festinger Tel: (954) 437 0449
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Complimentary for Trade & Media
European Union - Masterclass Croatia &
Miami Beach / June 13th, 11am to 2pm
New York City / June 15th, 11am to 2pm
Site Locations: TBA
Master Educator Aleks Norsic
Badell 1862 Winemaker & Viticulturalist
Miami Beach at
New York City at
One of the world's most historic vineyard sites
Origin of Chardonnay & Zinfandel
1st time offered in the United States
Trade & Media Event ~ Complimentary
Masterclass South of France
August 19, 11am - 2pm
Seminar, Tasting & Wine Luncheon
Taste the Portfolio of Gerard Bertrand
Leading Winemaker of Biodynamic, Organic Wines
Receive a complimentary copy of Wine, Moon & Stars
by this famed Vigneron, Winemaker & former French National Champion Rugby Player
Register Now at
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Standard Syllabus for Wine School CS Level
For Advanced Syllabus click her to visit our Store
For more information visit our STORE for Syllabus
Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Course Orientation
- Books and materials distributed
- Sensory Evaluation with Le Nez Du Vin
- Introduction to grape varietal selections
- Practical Service
Monday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Old World
- Wines of France
- Champagne, Sparkling Wines & Sabering
- Loire Valley
- Rhône Valley
- Languedoc & Roussillon
Tuesday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Old World
- Other EU Countries
- Spain & Portugal
- Germany & Austria
Wednesday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM - New World
- North America
- United States
- (Canada & Mexico)
Thursday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM -New World, Fortified, Spirits
- South America
- Fortified Wines
- Vin Doux Naturel
- Food & Wine Pairing
- Menu Management
Friday 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
- CS Examination
- Technical Tasting
1111 Lincoln Road, Suite 400 Miami Beach, FL 33139 USA
US Sommelier Wine School
Recommended for novices to intermediate level of wine and spirits knowledge.
- History of wine from ancient to modern times
- Varietal Component Wine Tastings with Le Nez du Vin 54 Master Aroma Kit - Master Blind Tasting Techniques & Sensory Evaluation Viticulture ~ All the facts on how wine is "grown" in the vineyards Vinification ~ From grape to glass.
- Winemaker decisions after harvest Taste & study your way through the major wine producing regions around the world
- Learn all about the (3) three wine styles: Sparkling, still or light & fortified
- Food & wine pairings ~ Daily Luncheon options
- The Art of the Sabreur ~ learn to saber the top of a Champagne bottle with a sword
- Riedel Tasting Glasses ~ one of the best tasting glasses in the world for all varietals!
- Taste over 80-100+ different premium labels from all over the world with master tasters
- Bring your own lunch BYOL or dine from world-class restaurants on Lincoln Road or join us at Wente Vineyards luncheons.
This course prepares the student to become knowledgeable in all the major wine regions of the world. Wine tasting techniques are taught using your sense of sight, smell and taste to develop an initial and then final conclusion as to where the wine comes from.
It also requires you to develop an evaluation technique to describe which grape varietal(s) are used by the wine makers and be able to explain some of the techniques used to vinify the wine. Tastings include up to 100+ wines. These wines are tasted in special Riedel Crystal tasting glasses.
Each tasting is led by leading certified wine experts.
Upon successful completion of the course a two-part test is given to the students.
- Part one is a (1) hour written multiple choice and essay type test covering wine theory and practical wine service.
- Part two is a written double-blind tasting examination by the USSA board of examiners covering the techniques taught in the course. Students scoring a combined 70% grade will receive their USSA Intermediate Sommelier Certificate.
Tuition Costs: $750.00
Materials & books inclusive:
- USSA Foundation / Intermediate Sommelier Certificate Notebook USSA Foundation / Intermediate Sommelier Certificate
- Module Notebook USSA Foundation / Intermediate Sommelier Beverage Notebook (spirits, beer, coffee, tea, cigars)
- USSA Master Tasting Templates ~ two-sided laminated 11" x 17" guides
- Brochures & booklets from the trade commissions of the major wine producing regions of the world
- World Wine Atlas, Newest Edition, Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson, Pdf files, DVDs, and more
National Certificate Program
Sommelier Certificate Course
5-day traveling course
Recommended for those with some wine knowledge and seeking intensive training and eligible for certification testing.
This is a custom course for wine importers, distributors, hotels, resorts, restaurants and private groups. Lunch needs to be served daily on-site and a graduation reception is given.
This course prepares the student to become knowledgeable in all the major wine regions of the world and learn the art of blind tasting. Upon successful completion of a two-part test, the student will receive a Sommelier Certification.
After testing is complete, passing students receive their Certificate level diplomas and a one-on-one evaluation of their performance with recommendations and coaching to move to the Advanced level.
Limited seating with Advanced registration required. Recommended for classes of 15 students, but can be adjusted for up to 20, or as little as 10 students.
Cost: Group Rates Available - Inclusive all books & materials.
View a sample of a customized training for Corporations. Contact us at rick@ussommelier or Corporate Office lines in contact us section.
Rick Garced, DVS, FMP
Hospitality and International Wine Consultant
Design, Operations & Procurements
Miami Beach, Florida
RICK GARCED, President & CEO, United States Sommelier Association, Inc.
The highly respected Rick Garced is a well-known wine master, restaurateur, writer and wine consultant based in Miami, Florida and Europe. He has been instrumental in the development of award winning wine and service operations programs for American and global companies in hospitality such as Windows on the World as Maître d'Hôtel for “The Ballroom & the Hudson River Suites”, Wine Consultant to Celebrity Cruises, Apollo Ship Chandlers, Inc, Silversea Cruises and wine editor and columnist for Dining Out Magazine.
He is the Founding President & CEO of the United States Sommelier Association, Inc. a non-profit 501 6C educational and professional organization that has operated The USSA Wine School at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Miami and at Johnson & Wales University, Florida Campus over the past ten years.
Educated at leading institutions such as Brookdale College, New Jersey; The Foundation Institute of the National Restaurant Association, Chicago and it’s affiliate Purdue University School of Hospitality, Indiana; Sterling Vineyards School of Service and Hospitality, Napa Valley, and University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris; he has been bestowed recognition awards such as the Distinguishing Visiting Sommelier Award from Johnson & Wales University and Commandeur d'Honneur de la Commanderie du Bontemps, Médoc et Graves, Sauternes et Barsac, Bordeaux, France among many others.
His interests include being an avid golfer, tennis player and gourmet chef.
Kind Wines & Spirits
Brad Kinder's journey into the wine industry took an interesting path. After he graduated from the School of Education at the University of South Florida, Brad realized that the college job of waiting tables had turned into a desire to continue in the hospitality industry. He spent several years working the seasonal route between Tampa and Nantucket. He spent a year in Detroit at the Rattlesnake Club. There he worked under Madeline Triffon, the first female Master Sommelier in the world. Under her guidance, Brad's interest in wine was sparked. He was introduced to a world that would eventually become both his passion and career.
Brad came back to Florida and became General Manager at Armadillo Café in Davie under Kevin McCarthy and Eve Montella. He later moved to Bang as General Manager and worked closely with Robbin Haas. He also worked with Allen Susser at Chef Allen's as the Sommelier.
In 1997 Brad accepted a position at Premier Beverage Co. as a sales consultant and moved along the ranks to become Key Accounts Manager. He then joined World Wines (a division of Premier Beverage Co.) upon its inception in 2000. In June of 2002 Brad was promoted to State Brand Manager for Premier Beverage Co., working with suppliers and deals with wineries and their principals. In 2003, Brad accepted a position with Premier as the State Fine Wine Business manager. He is also a Certified Training Coordinator for Premier's Beverage Professional Training Program.
Brad is an advanced Sommelier, certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is on the Board of American Institute Wine and Food (AIWF) and United States Sommelier Association (USSA). He conducts educational/entertaining events such as GenX wine tastings for AIWF. He is also an instructor for the USSA's Sommelier certification class at Johnson & Wales.
USSA Wine Schools
Since 2007 I have been pursuing my interest in Master level Wine & Spirits education. I have studied at Wente Vineyards US Sommelier Wine School Certificate programs led by Karl Wente, chief winemaker at Wente Vineyards, Dr. Carole Meredith, world renowned Genetic Scientists and past Dean of the University of California Davis Campus School of Enology, and the master level instructors from the US Sommelier Association.
This has led to being a Managing Director of the Western United States Sommelier Association Wine Schools and their USSA on line web wine store operations. This program was founded in 1995 by wine masters from New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago and Aspen.
Currently the USSA Google Ad and social media marketing campaigns attract 1.4 million views to the brand and thousands of visits to our Wine School education programs and seminars through out America.
John F. Hannon, JD
USSA Wine Schools
San Francisco / Wine Country, CA
John Hannon is a practicing attorney with a passion for wine spanning nearly four decades.
John's focus of interest is Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lodi, Paso Robles and Monterey. By attending wine tasting/semminar events on a regular basis, John has expanded his expertise to the various regions of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, New Zealand, Germany, Chile and Argentina.
John also works at Ruby Hill Winery, Pleasanton, California, assisting in the viniculture of their wine - from crushing/de-stemming, triaging grapes, and bottling, to pouring and discussing wine in the tasting room. The best part of his job is helping the customer understand the wines they are enjoying.
"Educating people of the vast and ever changing world of wine …."
St. Regis Hotel, Bal Harbour, FL
At 26, Paris born Sébastien Verrier is often younger than some of the wines he serves. However, his youth has not prevented him from garnering a stellar reputation as a sommelier, one who relishes in the "always learning, always tasting, always working on the palate" associated with his profession. It is a profession he entered when he was only 15 as a sommelier's assistant at Paris's Michelin-starred Les Clos Longchamps. Verrier balanced his duties there with earning a bachelor degree in wine stewardship.
Having begun to master wine, he became equally determined to learn English, so after two years as second sommelier at the famed Michelin one-star Le Jardin in Paris, he headed for London and a position as captain/sommelier at Mon Plaisir Restaurant.
Wanderlust, which often accompanies wine expertise because of its global nature, had set in by 1998. Verrier set his sights on New York City, where he spent a year as a captain at Les Trois Jeans before taking off for Australia and an exploration of its viniculture.
Verrier joined the Biltmore team in the fall of 1999 and now oversees the wine lists at La Palme d'Or and the 1200 Restaurant & Courtyard, as well as wine pairings for all the hotel's winemaker-theme dinners.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Key Biscayne
As a youth growing up in the seaside city of Viña del Mar, Chile, Jorge Mendoza learned the beauty of pairing a delicious wine with the perfect culinary accompaniment at the family dinner table. The Chilean appreciation of lingering at a bountiful table filled with food and wine chosen specifically for their compatible qualities sparked an interest in enology for Mendoza that would lead him through extensive and rigorous training on the subject.
After graduating from the National School of Hotel Management (INACAP) in Santiago with a major in food and beverage, Mendoza moved to Miami to begin a career in the hospitality industry with Marriott. He then went on to continue his education at Florida International University, earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in hospitality management. While studying enology, he found himself gaining a new perspective for analyzing and tasting wines critically and decided to place a more specific focus on training himself as a sommelier. Learning more about the trade at various gourmet restaurants and fine hotels in the area, he began his career at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne in 2001.
“I believe all wine deserves great respect—each one expresses a different story from its particular region,” says Mendoza. “Through the pairing of wine and food, an even more complete story is told through scent and taste.”
Regular travels through renowned wine regions from Burgundy to Tuscany serve as continued inspiration for Mendoza in his love of enology. In addition, he holds a Foundation Level Sommelier Certificate, Court of Master Sommeliers Certificate, Advanced Certificate Program for the Wines of France and Italy (with honors) and an Advanced Level Sommelier Certificate.
An award-winning oceanfront resort and spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is just minutes from the Miami International Airport, South Beach, Coconut Grove and Brickell, yet feels like a remote destination with its lush tropical gardens, pristine beach and infinity views. It opened in July 2001 and remains a premier destination for luxurious service in a serene paradise. The luxury resort has received numerous accolades including spots on the coveted 2005 editions of the Travel + Leisure “World’s Best” list and the Condé Nast Traveler “Gold List.” For additional information or reservations, please call The Ritz-Carlton toll free at (800) 241-3333, the resort directly at (305) 365-4500, a travel professional or visit The Ritz Carlton Web site at: www.ritzcarlton.com
John De Leo
State Brand Manager
Premier Beverage Company
John De Leo's career has spanned two decades in the hospitality industry. He has worked as a Food & Beverage Director managing multiple restaurant and beverage outlet units in high volume situations.
John is a certified wine educator and has spent the last ten years working with wineries and winemakers from around the world developing marketing strategies for restaurants to position and develop wines for programs from all over the world. He has been a board member of the US Sommelier Association, serving as a key member of the faculty at Johnson & Wales University and Le Cordon Bleu USSA Wine School properties.
Wine List Construction
Management by menu is a very important part of understanding how to run a wine program and a food service operation in general.
The class is broken down by issues such as:
1. Theme of cuisine served
3. Financial budgets
4. Service style
6. Menu presentations
7. Wine by the glass programs
8. Staff training
For menu printing and education we work with a variety of established industry professionals including:
Menu Men, Inc.
Don Baker, Vice President
Tel: 305 633 7925
Menu Man Printers and Educators