United States Sommelier Association

United States Sommelier Association

6039 Collins Avenue, Suite 504, Miami Beach Florida USA


United States Sommelier Association

History of the United States Sommelier Association

The United States Sommelier Association (USSA) was founded in 1995 by wine masters from New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Aspen. The USSA is a Florida non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and teaching of the wine culture to wine lovers and industry professionals.

In the past, wine program locations included Miami Beach, San Francisco, and Napa Valley. However, their Miami classroom has closed, and they are not currently offering any classes. The last mention of any available programming was in 2016.

Wine Courses

The USSA offers multiple levels of wine course certification programs., including the National Certificate Program, Advanced Sommelier Certificate, a Five-Day Immersion Certificate, and a Sommelier Certificate Immersion Course.

United States Sommelier Association focuses on the practical aspects of enjoying wine. A selection of wines from around the world will be tasted in each course, offering a broad introduction to all wines. In addition, many wines are tasted blind to make learning interactive and fun. Courses include theoretical knowledge, practical service, sensory evaluation through technical tastings with master aroma kits, food & wine pairing, deciphering wine labels, and sabering.


The president and founder of this wine school is Rick Garced. he has been bestowed recognition awards such as the Past Distinguishing Visiting Sommelier Award from Johnson & Wales University and Commandeur d’Honneur de la Commanderie du Bontemps, Médoc et Graves, Sauternes et Barszac, Bordeaux, and an Official Certified Wine Educator World Wide for L’Ecole du Vin, Bordeaux, Ambassadeurs des vins du Médoc. He is now the VP of National Accounts and Brand Educator for Gérard Bertrand Wines. He was also a  wine editor and columnist for Dining Out Magazine.

Name: United States Sommelier Association

Description: A hybrid wine school/accreditation agency for sommelier certification.



This is a tough one to review. This company makes a claim that they are a registered non-profit that is “certified by the BIVB, CIVB and other respected bodies.” However, there is no record of such a business at Florida’s Department of State. There is a SOMMELIER GUILD, INC. which was founded in 1995 and dissolved in 2015. This certification body no longer has the authority to issue credentials. Furthermore, the BIVD and CIVB are not certifying bodies, they are promotional companies for Bordeaux and Burgundy


  • Accreditation
  • Sommelier Certification
  • Wine Trade Certification
  • Quality of Instruction



Out of Business


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United States Sommelier Association