WSU Tri-Cities launches new online certificate program to train winery, tasting room servers

WSU student serves wine at a regional winery

WSU Tri-Cities launches new online certificate program to train winery, tasting room servers

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities launched a new online Wine Tasting Room Certificate that trains winery and tasting room servers on wine business customer service, knowledge of Washington wines, sensory attributes of wine, as well as suggestions for selling wine.

WSU Blended Learning student-made wines paired with Cougar Gold cheese

WSU Blended Learning student-made wines paired with Cougar Gold cheese.

The course, which costs $249, is comprised of four modules that take approximately eight hours to complete:

  • Exploring wine
  • Wines of Washington
  • Keys to proper wine service and sales
  • Wine tasting, evaluation and food pairing

“We worked closely with winery owners and tasting room managers to determine their needs and develop content that is specifically geared toward what wineries require for customer experience,” said Joan Giese, WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business director of lifelong learning. “The outcomes of this program are well-trained servers that are confident in their abilities to know, serve and sell wine, as well as well-served guests that are delighted with enjoyable tasting room experiences.”

For more information on the Wine Tasting Room Certificate program and to sign-up, visit tricities.wsu.edu/wine-tasting-room-training.

Within the modules, individuals who complete the course will learn about:

  • How wine is made
  • Styles of wine
  • Types of grapes
  • Unique aspects of Washington wines
  • American Viticultural Areas specific to Washington state
  • How to deliver great wine service to guests, including suggestions for selling wine and wine club memberships
  • How to taste and describe wines
  • How to serve wine flights
  • How to determine wine faults
  • How to make suggestions for wine and food pairings

“Upon testing this course in partnership with regional wineries, it has shown to provide winery and tasting room servers with the quality knowledge they need to enter into the profession, as well as a great baseline knowledge of what to know when working with customers in wine businesses,” Giese said.

For questions about the Wine Tasting Room Certificate program, email tricities.professionaleducation@wsu.edu.

WSU Tri-Cities is one of few universities nationwide that feature both programs in wine and beverage business management and wine science on the same campus. It is home to the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center – one of only a handful of comprehensive wine research facilities in the world.

For more information on WSU Tri-Cities’ wine and beverage business management program, visit tricities.wsu.edu/business/undergraduate/wbm. For more information on WSU Tri-Cities’ viticulture and enology (wine science) program, visit tricities.wsu.edu/wine-science-degree.