Napa Valley Wine Academy

Tim Gaiser, MS

Tim Gaiser is a internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer. He is one of 240 individuals worldwide to attain the elite Master Sommelier wine title and is the former Director of Education and Education chair for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. Tim continues at the Court on the Board of Directors and sits on the exam standards and exam development committees.

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: It’s the Little Things: 8 Service Basics For Somms

The standards for fine wine service are a vital part of any sommelier organization’s curriculum including the Court of Master Sommeliers. These standards were derived from traditional, formal European wine service used at the very top restaurants around the globe. The standards have existed in some form or another for decades. While a majority of the standards only apply to the very finest restaurants, there are a handful of common denominators that apply to wine service in any restaurant regardless of style or level of service.

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 9 Strategies for Wine Theory Study

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

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Glass Stance Senses FB

Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: Glassware Stance

Sometimes, I think the process of smelling and tasting wine is a lot like playing golf. Both are very complex sequences involving the use of multiple senses while processing a good deal of information in the moment. To point, addressing the golf ball consistently before making a good shot in golf is probably the single most crucial factor for success in the game. Likewise, consistency in technique when picking up a glass to smell the wine is incredibly important—but something rarely, if ever, discussed or written about. I call the process “glassware stance.”

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Then Now FB

Napa – Then and Now

Summer 1976 and the Paris Tasting. The repeal of prohibition was just 43 years before. Dry table wines had only been outselling fortified sweet jug wines in the U.S. since 1968. For most Americans, fine wine—and fine dining for that matter–was about as remote as the Dog Star. The very thought that California wines could ever share the stage with top French bottlings seemed to be fantasy. The tasting changed everything, with California wines judged superior to Grand Cru Burgundy and classified growth Bordeaux by a panel of French judges. The results sent shock waves through the industry–and far beyond.

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Understanding German Wine

“Understanding German Wine” first appeared on on November 5, 2014. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission. Tim Gaiser plays host to “Mastering Germany” for Napa Valley Wine Academy’s “Master Series” LIVE Webinars. Learn more.  by Tim Gaiser, MS There are two countries that instill fear in the hearts and minds of MS

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Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

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Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


3555 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV 89109


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Mariott Santa Ynez

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


555 McMurray Road

Buelton, CA 93427


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Art Hotel Denver

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Mountain)


1201 Broadway

Denver, CO 80203


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Aloft Nashville

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

February 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Central)


1719 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN 37203


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Epicurean Hotel

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

March 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Eastern)


1207 S Howard Ave,

Tampa, FL 33606


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Street View of HQ

Your WSET Level 3 exam will take place on

January 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM (Pacific)


2501 Oak Street

Napa, CA 94559