Gifted Bliss: A letter from an enthusiast that received PreSomm as a birthday present!

I was given the PreSomm course as a gift. I am a retired software developer who is a DIY foodie. That is, my wife and I love to cook; inviting friends for dinner is our favorite form of entertainment. And that means wine. We've lived in a several wine regions and traveled to more, but really didn't feel that our knowledge was either particularly broad or deep.

So for me, PreSomm was an opportunity to learn about (and taste!) wines from around the world. To acquire enough knowledge to be able to make an informed purchase at a wine store or restaurant. While I understand that I've only scratched the surface, I feel much more knowledgable and in control. It's a great feeling.

Denise brings energy and enthusiasm to the classes, which are densely-packed with information and could be overwhelming without the verve she brings to each evening's session.

I am delighted to have taken the PreSomm course and thoroughly recommend it to others. While the majority of your classmates will be in the hospitality industry, there is plenty here for a wine enthusiast (like me) as well.

Rick Aurbach

University City, MO

A global gift presented with local care!

Something very special happened last week: I got my first "global" PreSomm purchase. Here's a thoughtful testimonial I received after working with an STL resident's brother, all the way in Australia, to surprise him with the course for his birthday <3

"As a gift giver I am always looking for the "just right" thing - "Oh, WOW!" is my applause. It's particularly difficult with adults who have lived long enough to have most of the "stuff" they really want.

I was so glad to have found PreSomm while doing a blind search on sommelier courses. My brother has been a wine enthusiast for 40 years, but always felt his wine education was lacking. Perfect. That still left navigating the logistics from halfway around the globe.

I'm so glad to report that Denise made the gift giving process more than just painless - it was a genuine pleasure working with her. She was extremely responsive and helpful. She went out of her way to make gifting the course easy, even putting together a lovely email gift card/announcement. 

I now look forward to meeting Denise when I next visit the St Louis area, and highly recommend PreSomm as a gift.

And yes, I got my applause...
Rob A.

The best gift ever: PreSomm Wine Course

From previous PreSomm Wine Course graduate Mandy Cross:

"I can not thank Denise and her crew enough for the amazing PreSomm Course!! I came into the class having never worked in the bar or restaurant industry, but have had a huge interest in cooking, food, and wine for as long as I can remember. My interest in wine, specifically, has grown stronger and stronger over the years, so I was super excited to receive the course as a gift from my husband for Christmas this past year! What a fantastic gift idea!! I came to class eager to learn but scared to death I was going to be intimidated by real servers and “wine people”. Luckily, I was so wrong. Everyone was so nice and helpful! The class is truly for everyone!! It doesn’t matter if you have never stepped foot behind a bar as a bartender or worked one night as a restaurant server. As long as you have a passion for wine and want to learn more this is the perfect class. I am currently getting ready to take the Level 1 Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and am eager this class gave me enough knowledge to pass it with flying colors. I love that this class fits so many different needs-for the enthusiast like myself who just wants to know more, to the person possible seeking a career with wine, to the full fledged restaurant beverage program worker who is working towards the title of Sommelier...this class is for all of you!"

From a wine enthusiast...

I am not in the industry but love wine and felt I had a good grasp of basic varieties (versus varietals), which are concepts and words described in PreSomm class.  I wanted to learn about French wine and in this class we did, as well as Italian, Australian, German, South African and more. The details of the geography and the soil which shape the grapes and the wine are fascinating and gave me a new appreciation for wines I otherwise would not have explored.

Knowledge of my favorite wines, California reds, was expanded with in-depth study of regions, their grapes and why those grapes flourish where they do. I am no longer mystified at how a sommelier can smell and blind taste wine and determine where it is from. Denise is a serious but fun instructor who has energized me to continue my study of wine for collecting, for sharing, for pursuing my Master Somm and for my retirement plan of opening a wine store. 

There is a focus on providing restaurant wine service which took me back 30 years to when I was a waiter. What I liked about this part is the attention to detail as you would anticipate in fine dining. Servers will learn upsell techniques as well as skills to make the wine experience more enjoyable via pairing. Denise Mueller and her staff cover all the details!

Russ Thompson

Florissant, Mo.

From the original poster child - PreSomm owner Denise Mueller


Denise Mueller, CSW


PreSomm was created to enthuse and educate its readers about the world of wine and proper wine service, in addition to providing a perfect foundation for students seeking future wine certifications.

The PreSomm Course provides its students with a higher level of wine theory and wine service, prepares them for job promotions in the hospitality field and inspires future education certifications such as Introductory-level Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, certifcations through Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and/or Certified Specialist of Wine through Society of Wine Educators.


On a personal note: I am PreSomm’s poster child. 

When I decided to persue a career in the wine industry, I did not know where to turn, what to study, or what path to take. I purchased a few wine texts, but did not feel a sense of organized education from the literature. I climbed the proverbial mountain – uphill both ways – reaching for directions and mentorship in hard to reach places. 

I did things the hard way.

My company’s goal is to make it so you do not have to.  

PreSomm is an efficient educational model – providing the tools to get a wonderful foundation for your wine education and jump start your career and passion. Through our program we encourage proper study methods, wine tasting practice, wine service techniques and verticle mentorship structures. 

 After years of study and practice, I have learned the following – “knowing wine” is NOT just about knowing wine grapes and a few wine pairings.  A wine education includes learning and understanding a multitude of topics – below is a list showcasing the breadth of a wine professional’s mastered subject matter.


To become a wine professional

Know the vine system, farming techniques, and soil types

Know the standout countries, regions, villages, and vineyards

Know the climate and topography for every major wine region

Know noble grapes and grape-clones for every major wine region

Know excellent and poor vintages for specific regions and/or varieties

Know different wine making techniques and their pros and cons

Know how to pair wine with food and the science behind the pairings

Know how to prepare for a wine tasting: for blind tasting or an event


 Are you ready?

Welcome to PreSomm: Press Play on Your Wine Career