Wine School 3: Associate Certification – June 2023: Classroom & Virtual Options

This course is available either in-person in Wine School 3’s Cayman Island classroom, or virtually. Includes 12 Cheese Samples*, 12 Wine Samples*, Digital Book, Online Exam, Certificate, 12-month’s access to the Academy of Cheese online Learning Road and Cheese Library with over 150 cheeses, Cheese and beverage pairings & Postage. *Cheese and wine samples only available for the classroom course



About this Certification

For all lovers of cheese, increase your knowledge to share with family & friends or to enhance your career. This course is an introduction to all types of cheese and learning to taste the cheese.

Want to know your Le Gruyère from your Gorgonzola? Then Level One is for you! Becoming an Associate of the Academy of Cheese is the first step to developing a greater understanding and appreciation of cheese.

During the fun and engaging tutoring, you’ll discover a structured approach to tasting and be introduced to a range of tools to help you communicate more effectively about cheese. You’ll learn how cheese is made, how to assess quality, develop an understanding of the provenance and range of cheese available. This will be backed up with a home study (and even more cheese tasting!) before completing our online certification.

What’s Covered

  • The cheesemaking process
  • The ingredients, their function, and production steps. An introduction to the Academy’s Make/Post Make Model applied to 25 specific cheeses.
  • Maturing, affinage, and grading
  • Looking at ripeness and how temperature can be used to control the process. Understand affinage and the relevance of grading.
  • Buying and distribution
  • Discover the supply chains from production to consumer. Learn how to select a cheeseboard range for various situations.
  • Presentation
  • Choosing the best tools for the job. Looking at correct techniques for cutting, packing and caring for cheese.
  • Communicating
  • Understand the key descriptors of 25 cheeses and the principles of pairing cheese and drinks.
  • Cheese industry knowledge
  • Discover the history of cheesemaking and understand the differences between large scale and artisan production today.
  • Regulation and good practice
  • How to handle cheese safely.
  • Tasting
  • Tasting cheese using the Academy of Cheese’s tasting model. Expand your vocabulary for expert communication.
  • Learn to taste cheese like a pro.

Do you have a passion for cheese?

Expand your knowledge with The Academy of Cheese Level 1 course.

For all lovers of cheese, increase your knowledge to share with family & friends or to enhance your career. This course is an introduction to all types of cheese, cheese making and learning to taste cheese the Academy way.

Join Academy of Cheese® Training Partner Christian Esser as he takes you through the basics of how cheese is made, how to make a great cheese board selection, and the flavours and profiles of the level one syllabus of 25 cheeses.

What to expect

The course is completed over two evening sessions. You will learn all about the world’s classic cheeses, how they are made, their history and what they taste like. We use specialist training materials from the Academy of Cheese, taste 18 classic cheeses and learn about cheese in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Who’s it for?

Anybody with an interest in Cheese! Level 1 is for anyone who wants to understand the basics of cheese and cheesemaking whether out of their own passion or as a stepping-stone in their career.

Students may elect to sit the Academy of Cheese® Level 1 Associate exam after completing the course – this exam can be taken online, at home and at the convenience of the student. Anyone who successfully completes this exam will receive a certificate and badge – as well as the right to say they are qualified in cheese!

Will There Be Wine?

A tasting of 18 wines is included in the course fee – we are a wine school after all! While the focus of the course is very much on cheese, students will also have the opportunity to taste 18 wines during the day chosen specifically to help demonstrate cheese and wine pairing principles.


Accreditation is awarded to delegates that achieve 24 marks and above (from a possible 30 questions) in our Multiple Choice Exam Paper.  The online examination will be undertaken after you have completed 6-8 hours of classroom study and 12-24 hours of home study.

The multiple-choice questions are taken from the nine elements of learning outlined above.  The current pass rate is 91%.

Includes instant access to the Associate learning road and certification

  • How to describe the key ingredients used in cheesemaking and their purpose
  • Have an overview of the steps involved in cheesemaking and maturation
  • Understand the Academy of Cheese Make/Post-Make (MPM) Model
  • Understand how milk is produced
  • Recognise the condition of a soft mould-ripened cheese in terms of degree of ripeness
  • Understands cheese grading and its relevance
  • Understands the role of maturation and affinage in adding value to the product
  • Knows the different techniques to accelerate and decelerate ripening in soft mould-ripened cheese
  • Understand of how cheese is bought and transported including the term “chill chain”
  • Understand the importance of offering an appropriate range of cheeses for a cheese board
  • Select and use appropriate packaging, to wrap and re-wrap cheese
  • Be able to cut cheese using appropriate tools
  • Understand the importance of caring for, cutting and serving cheeses appropriate to the variety
  • Understands the key descriptors of cheese i.e. country of origin, species of milking animal, vegetarian/animal rennet, raw/pasteurised milk, MPM Model, protected status, age
  • Understands the principles of pairing cheese and drinks
  • An overview of the history of cheesemaking
  • Understand the differences between large scale and artisan production
  • Understand an overview of the nutritional value of cheese
  • Demonstrates good hand-washing techniques
  • Understand how to handle cheese safely
  • Understand the difference between “use by” and “best before”
  • Understands how to use the Academy of Cheese Level 1 Structured Approach to Tasting Model
  • Practical assessment of cheese using the model

At Level One you are required to study and taste 25 iconic cheeses. You will find details on each cheese in your delegates pack and in the online Cheese Library. Whether you attend an online or classroom course you will be expected to have tasted the 25 cheeses on the Level One list by the time of your assessment.

Use the Structured Approach to Tasting Cheese (SATC) sheet to record your tasting notes.

Whichever way you chose to study, you’ll need to take the online exam to become a certified Academy of Cheese Associate. It’s 30 questions in 30 minutes, you’ve got this! 


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