Wine Certifications: CMS vs WSET

Are you looking to further your wine education, but not sure where to start? Should you go with the Court of Master Sommelier (CMS) program or the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)? I’m here to shed some light on the topic and help you make the right decision for you! I have taken CMS level one and WSET level 1 and 2 (with distinction). I’ll start by saying, both are great programs and both are great ways to get into the wine world! However, there are quite a few crucial differences between the two! 

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    • Let me start my saying CMS level 1 course is MUCH harder and complex than WSET level`1 course! With my experience, the CMS level 1 course was equal to if not even a bit harder with more information than the WSET 2 course. 

    • CMS course spends more time on the hospitality side of wine. Teaching you the proper way to open still and sparkling wine as well as serving wine. 

    • CMS is organized by region and WSET is organized by varietal. Personally, I found the format of the WSET program much more organized and easier to follow along. 

    • If you don’t know much about wine and are looking to learn the basics, I would recommend WSET level 1 course. If you already have a pretty steady base knowledge of wine and some experience working with wine, then I would recommend CMS level 1 or WSET level 2. 

    • What type of career are you trying to build in the wine world? Are you looking to be a floor sommelier at restaurant? I would highly recommend the CMS programs. After you complete CMS level 2, you are officially a certified sommelier. Are you looking to work in sales or the retail side of wine? I would recommend the WSET courses. ** One important note- the term “certified sommelier” comes from the CMS courses only. 

    • Lastly, know that the CMS level 2 course (to become a certified sommelier) is a 3 part exam including theory, service and blind tasing. 

Hope this is helpful! Happy to answer any questions! Leave a comment or shoot me an email.


xoxo, Cas 

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Doing the most in Napa-48 hours

We visited 8 wineries in 2 days! We covered a lot of ground and got to cross off some major wine bucket list items!! Here’s how to make the most of your Napa trip!!

Items you will need: 1. A cooler 2. Bottled water 3. Change of clothes (jk, but if you want more variety in your pictures in doesn’t hurt!!) So our first stop was Oakville Groceries- you can call ahead your sandwiches for pick up and keep them in your cooler for lunch. The other reason for the cooler is to be sure your wine purchases don’t get ruined in the hot car! Okay, first stop: 

But first, Coffee. 

We arrived at Duckhorn Winery at 9:30 AM, and their tasting room opens at 10 AM. It was perfect to stroll through the vineyards and stunning property with a cup of coffee to start the day!

The tasting at Duckhorn was fabulous! The wines just kept getting better and better as it went! They do require reservations, however you can schedule your appointment on Open Table!

Stop #2 

Next up, SCHRAMBERG! This was a big bucketlist winery for me! They make absolutely stunning sparkling wines and do not take any short cuts! They make all their bubbles by the meticulous and time consuming traditional method, but it sure does show on the quality of their wines! We took a tour through the wine caves where we learned all about the process!

After the wine cave tour, we tasted through the line up of sparkling and red wine IN THE WINE CAVE! So magical!

Stop #3 

Next up, world class Napa red wines with a view!! Cant beat that! We very much enjoyed our time at Joseph Phelps Winery! 

Stop #4

Last stop of the day, we saw the world famous wine that put California on the map in the Judgement of Paris!! The proud owner is Stags Leap Cellars. Wow wow! Every single wine was life changing! This one definitely bends the wallet, but these bottles will age forever and when that special occasion comes, we’ll be glad we have it (the cask 23)!!

DAY 2: 

Started off the morning at Silver Oak winery. They don’t require an appointment and it was a great way to start the morning! Their wines are not only high end and delicious, but very different because they use Missouri oak! Fun to try!

Stop #6

This was the HIGHLIGHT of the whole trip! Hall Wines blew us out the water!! We did the Ultimate Cabernet tour and tasting! Not only did we try absolutely to die for wines, we got a private and personalized experience with a stunning view!! Highly recommend this one!!!

Stop #7 

Next up, Napa Cellars! They have a such a relaxing and inviting tasting room and outdoor area with picnic tables and vines. Perfect way to slow down the afternoon!

and right across the street… stop #8

I’ve always wanted to do a barrel tasting! So after Napa Cellars, we went right across the street to Del Dotto! (also known as Del Blatto-they give heavy pours) All the wine on the barrel tour is served with the wine thief straight from the barrel!! What a neat experience!!

So there’s a super quick snapshot of our trip!! I wouldn’t change any bit of it and highly recommend all of these wineries!! drop any comments or questions below!!


-Cas xoxo 

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A Day in Temecula

We had the most fabulous time visiting Temecula Wine Country in Southern California and are already planning out next trip back! We stopped at 3 very unique and very wonderful wineries. The first stop was Peltzer Winery. Such a beautiful property growing many different varietals! we loved the Barbara, the red blend and the Muscat. The tasting room is spacious and air conditioned! Which was amazing since it was 100 degrees when we were there!! We loved the bread pairings that came with the tasting!! 

Next, we headed to Akash Winery. It is bougie and modern, I loved it! The wines were absolutely fabulous! I will admit I was biased to the whites and rose because of the heat! The reds wines were stunning as well! I loved how hands on and involved the owner Akash is! He came over and poured our wines and we even snapped a pic together! 

The last stop was Cougar Winery, and they hooked us up! We got a very in depth tour into the barrel room and got to see the wine making process up close as they do all their own production on site. They have so many fantastic wines specializing in unique Italian varieties. They also have a pizza café on site which was the perfect way to wrap up the day! 

Such a fabulous day and I can’t wait to go back! Let me know in the comments where to go next time!

Cheers wine lovers! 



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