New Trends, Developments, and Standards

The International Sommelier Guild brings together the resources of the top educators, industry leaders, premier restaurateurs, wine merchants, wineries and writers. We are a community that learns from each other and strives to pool the knowledge of the best minds to keep you on top of new trends, research, developments and standards.

We invite you to explore the various sections of the website and experience the passion, depth, and attention to detail that the Guild brings to the Sommelier discipline.

The International Sommelier Guild is an educational organization that brings together the resources of the top educators, industry leaders, restaurateurs, merchants, beverage alcohol producers, and writers. We belong to a community whose members learn from each other. We strive to pool our knowledge and our experience in order to keep students on top of new industry trends, research, developments, and standards.

The ISG’s goal is to use the contributions of its graduates, advisers, and instructors to establish globally recognized industry standards for the sommelier profession. We are the only Sommelier certifying body to be licensed by the various state boards of education.

ISG Market Developments through in Class Education

From its inception in 1982, the ISG has understood the hospitality industry as its primary market. In fact, what would later become the ISG’s Sommelier Diploma Program was created at the urging of well-traveled restaurant guests in many North American markets. They noted that service in the North American market lacked the professionalism that they experienced in fine restaurants when they traveled to Europe. The lack of professionalism was particularly apparent when it came to wine management and service. Locally, wine selection was small and poorly chosen. Proper storage was an afterthought. Service staff knew little about the wines they were serving. And proper service technique was rarely encountered.

Few markets today are as weak in terms of wine knowledge, selection, or service as North America was in the early 1980s. There are, of course, some markets that could still see the level of professionalism in the hospitality industry elevated, but these markets are now in the minority. 

Nevertheless, the ISG has grown with the hospitality industry over the past three decades and now provides a form of hospitality-focused wine education which is unique. Unlike other organizations the ISG provides a carefully structured, progressive, in-class learning experience for students interested in a career as a sommelier. The ISG’s program is designed so that a student with no experience with wine can progress through the levels of our program to achieve sommelier certification.

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