News / 04/06/2017 / 3274
He gets remunerated (or not) for drinking wine, sniffing and swirling, telling wine stories as if describing a fruit salad, drinking five glasses of wine simultaneously... This could be a description of wine-related job to someone outside the trade . However, the invisible part that follows when wine festivals and events finish is learning, continuous effort to expand wine expertise and comprehend wine styles and wine regions, grape varieties, features of wine regions, technology ...
The educational system of Serbia recognizes only education that is narrowly focused on viticulture or food technology (which comprises wine technology). However, the development of wine scene opened up space for numerous occupations requiring a different professional profile and knowledge that are not covered by classical curricula at domestic school institutions. These include wine traders, wine journalists, promoters, sommeliers, professionals from the HORECA sector, etc.
In the last few years, a number of schools, academies and other informal institutions offering wine education has emerged. Now winelovers who need to learn more about wine can choose the type of program they want to attend.
In order to make it easier for you to find and select the program that suits your needs best, we will give you a guide to wine education programs available in Serbia.
SERBIAN SOMMELIER ASSOCIATION - SERSA
Serbian Sommelier Association SERSA, with its members Vojvodina Sommelier Association and Šumadija Sommelier Association, has been organizing professional sommelier courses since 2003. Serbian sommeliers are largely responsible for development of wine culture because they have trained whole army of sommeliers who continued their career on cruise ships or in restaurants and hotels both in Serbia and abroad. Until recently, professional sommelier course was the only type of wine education that winelovers in Serbia could attend in order to broaden their wine horizons. SERSA is a member of the International Somelier Association ASI. It is important to stress that the training program is compliant with the ASI program, so SERSA's sommelier certificates are internationally recognized. So far, almost 1.000 people have completed professional sommelier course, whilst more than 2.500 people have learnt more about wine on all levels of wine courses. The courses are held in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Kragujevac.
Concerning courses, there are four levels intended for professional sommeliers:
-Sommelier Program-Level I - This course is intended for people with no previous experience with wine and spirits who want to get acquainted with basic features and classification of all drinks, from soft drinks to wine and spirits. Course duration: 5 hours.
-Sommelier Program-Level II - This course opens the doors of the wine world. The course contains the following topics: production and styles of wine, Serbian wine regions, basics of wine & food pairing, wine-serving skills. Duration of the course: 15 hours.
-Sommelier Program-Level III - Advanced course for sommeliers, which, in addition to broader coverage of topics contained in level II, includes the most important wine regions of the world, advanced wine-serving techniques and sensory analysis. Course duration: 120 hours. Based on info provided by Vojvodina Sommelier Association, the cost of attending this course, which is held in Novi Sad, amounts to 300 EUR (in RSD counter value).
-Sommelier Program - Level IV - a specialized program exclusively for certified sommeliers.
-Winelover Course "Wine School" - a basic course founded on sommelier curriculum yet adapted to winelovers' needs. The aim is to spread wine culture, from learning how to hold a wine glass to basic features of the main grape varieties, wine styles, the basics of proper wine serving and food pairing. Duration of the course: 15 hours.
The only objection concerning Serbian Sommelier Association refers to lack of transparency when it comes to course fees. The only way to get information about the tuition fees is at the moment of applying for the course. The website provides all information about the courses except the price. Is there a need to keep it secret?
SOMMELIER ACADEMY OF SERBIA "SEVEN STARS" http://www.sommelier.rs/
Founded in 2016. Local organization, no partnership with international peer organizations. It provides theoretical and practical training for sommeliers with an ambition to work in restaurants and cruise ships.
-The basic level - a 15-hour course, provides the basic combination of theory and practice required for sommelier duties. A necessary prerequisite for further progress towards more advanced course levels at the Sommelier Academy. The price of the course: 5,900 RSD.
-Advanced level - According to the topics covered, this course corresponds to Sommelier Program Level III organized by SERSA. A 120-hour course includes theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for sommelier duties. The price of the course: 69,800 RSD.
-Head Sommelier - The prerequisite for attending this course is completed advanced level course. The 80-hour course includes water serving, wine list creation, keeping business records and wine cellar management, sensory evaluation, bar and bar operations, sales & sales techniques. The price of the course: 85,000 RSD.
SERBIAN WINE ACADEMY http://www.srpskavinskaakademija.rs/
Founded in 2015 in Belgrade. The program was developed in cooperation with the Austrian Wine Academy, which grants discount to those wishing to pursue further studies at higher level (WSET3) at the Austrian Wine Academy.
-Professional Course - The course program is tailored in accordance with WSET program, with the extended part covering ex-Yugoslav countries and the section related to international wine business and wine marketing. The course encompasses the basics of viticulture and main grape varieties, systematic approach to wine tasting, wine regions of the world and wine styles and storage and service of wine. Course duration: 40 hours. Price of the course is 46,000 dinars.
BELGRADE WINE SCHOOL
Founded in 2016 in Belgrade. Approved WSET program provider in Serbia. Just to remind you, WSET is an internationally recognized system of wine courses for wine lovers and employees in the wine industry that exists in more than 60 countries in the world. In Serbia, there is a possibility to attend WSET courses - levels 1 and 2.
WSET 1 - The course according to WSET curriculum provides elementary knowledge for winelovers and everyone who makes his/her first steps in the catering business/wine trade. The course includes: wine tasting methods, wine and food matching, serving and storing wine, the main wine styles and grape varieties. Course duration: 6 hours. Course price: 21,000 dinars (VAT excluded)
WSET 2 - The course dedicated to winelovers and professionals who already have some basic knowledge of wines. At level 2, the focus is on major grape varieties and important wine regions of the world. In addition, the course also covers factors that influence the style of wine, the production of sparkling, sweet and fortified wines, principles of wine & food pairing, the main categories of spirits. Duration of the course: 16 hours. Course price: 45,000 dinars (VAT excluded).
WINE ACADEMY OF SERBIA http://vinskaakademija.com/
Founded in 2015 in Sremski Karlovci. Courses are held there. Another approved WSET program provider in Serbia (and thanks to its location in Sremski Karlovci, suitable for students from Vojvodina). It also provides the possibility of attending WSET courses - level 1 and 2.
WSET 1 - The course according to WSET curriculum provides elementary knowledge for winelovers and everyone who makes his/her first steps in the catering business/wine trade. The course includes: wine tasting methods, wine and food matching, serving and storing wine, the main wine styles and grape varieties. Course duration: 6 hours. Course price: 28,000 dinars.
WSET 2 - The course dedicated to winelovers and professionals who already have some basic knowledge of wines. At level 2, the focus is on major grape varieties and important wine regions of the world. In addition, the course also covers factors that influence the style of wine, the production of sparkling, sweet and fortified wines, principles of wine & food pairing, the main categories of spirits. Duration of the course: 16 hours. Course price: 42,000 dinars.
WINE ETIQUETTE - A course tailored for winelovers covering the following topics: sensory analysis of wine, wine etiquette, wine faults, wine serving, wine and food matching, eau-de-vie tasting. Course duration: 6 hours. Course price: 12.000 RSD.
If you complete one of these courses in Serbia, the moment will definitely come afterwards to focus on neighbouring countries if you wish to pursue further wine training. If you decide to follow WSET program, then you will have to select WSET Level 3 program (for the time being, WSET3 is available in Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria). We have information that in the near future, one of our wine schools will start providing WSET level 3 courses, but until this becomes reality, the only option is to attend a course in one of the wine schools in neighbouring countries. To qualify for WSET Level 3 there, you must first complete one of the following courses in Serbia: either WSET2 , the Professional Course provided by Serbian Wine Academy or SERSA sommelier program level III. The choice is yours, and depending on the duration and price of the course, try to get the most out of your money.
Awarded wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected wine magazines. WSET3-certified author and editor-in-chief of www.vinopedia.rs. Member of Vojvodina Sommelier Association. Juror in national and international wine competitions. Lecturing about wines of Serbia and the Balkans. Local partner of Wine Mosaic organization. Co-founder of International Prokupac Day.
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