Unit of competency details

FDFCD2006A - Conduct a standard product tasting (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to FBPCDS2001 - Conduct a standard product tastingUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Minor changes to Elements and Performance Criteria for clarity Prerequisites removed 17/Dec/2018

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
3 (this release) 06/Sep/2012
(View details for release 2) 01/May/2012
(View details for release 1) 04/Nov/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History

This unit supersedes and is equivalent to FDFCDSSTTA Conduct a standard product tasting.

September 2012: updated equivalent imported pre-requisite Unit.

April 2012: Minor typographical corrections.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor

This specialist unit has been developed for the cellar door sales stream of the wine industry. It covers the skills and knowledge required to prepare the product and tasting area and to conduct unsupervised standard product tastings for a variety of cellar door customers.

Standard product tastings include routine cellar door ‘on request’ tastings from individual customers and small groups. Tastings associated with VIP itineraries, the media or pre-arranged group winery tours are covered in FDFCD3002A Conduct a specialised product tasting.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit

This unit provides the skills to plan, prepare and conduct standard product tastings include routine cellar door ‘on request’ tastings from individual customers and small groups. The unit includes providing product samples in a manner to maximise the tasting experience for the customer and answering customer queries.

The unit can apply to the conduct of both wine and spirit tastings.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units


Evaluate wines (standard)


Interact with customers


Provide responsible service of alcohol

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



  • 1. Store and handle products
  • 1.1 Products are cellared and stock is rotated according to product knowledge and workplace policy
  • 1.2 Sediments and cork characters associated with ageing products are managed according to individual product and workplace requirements
  • 2. Set up product tasting area
  • 2.1 Products are prepared for tasting using techniques according to product knowledge and workplace procedures
  • 2.2 Tasting equipment suitable to product and tasting requirements is prepared and placed ready for use by customers
  • 2.3 Adequate supplies of suitable support materials are prepared and placed ready for use
  • 3. Conduct product tastings
  • 3.1 Customer preferences are established using communication techniques and support materials
  • 3.2 Customers are encouraged to sample preferred product range in the most beneficial order to experience product characters effectively
  • 3.3 Customers are given time and privacy to sample each product and make a decision
  • 3.4 Customers are encouraged to ask questions and/or pass opinions on products
  • 3.5 Customer queries are answered accurately and comprehensively, or referred to another information resource
  • 3.6 Common product faults are identified and any associated customer dissatisfaction is handled in a positive manner according to workplace policy and procedures
  • 4. Serve tasting samples
  • 4.1 Product is opened using techniques and procedures suitable to product characteristics
  • 4.2 Product faults are identified and rectified and/or reported according to workplace procedures
  • 4.3 Product is poured and presented to the customer for tasting according to legal regulations and workplace policy
  • 4.4 Waste is collected and disposed of according to workplace procedures
  • 4.5 Work is conducted in accordance with workplace environmental guidelines
  • 5. Maintain product in optimum condition
  • 5.1 Open product is maintained according to workplace procedures
  • 5.2 Sealed product is stored according to workplace procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills include:

Note: The following required skills should be applied as appropriate to the equipment and processes that are used in the particular winery or workplace.

Ability to: 

  • access workplace information to identify standard wine tasting and preparation requirements
  • confirm supply of necessary products, equipment and materials, their status and condition as required
  • liaise with other work areas
  • cellar wines appropriately in readiness for tasting, according to wine style and workplace policy. This will include consideration of:
  • ultraviolet (UV) light and sunlight
  • temperature
  • humidity
  • position and cork condition
  • vibration
  • ease of access
  • pest control
  • stock rotation procedures
  • prepare glasses for tasting. This should include:
  • selecting appropriate glass for product
  • cleaning appropriately (i.e. no detergent residues)
  • rejecting chipped or damaged glasses
  • polishing hygienically
  • ensuring sufficient quantity for customer requirements
  • positioning for easy access and use and to maintain cleanliness
  • prepare support materials. These may include:
  • tasting notes and evaluation sheets
  • wine and spirit lists
  • background or promotional documentation
  • pens and paper
  • napkins or towels
  • corkscrews
  • white table cloth and paper
  • appropriate food and water to accompany tasting
  • prepare spittoons or spit buckets. This may include:
  • cleaning and sanitising
  • filling with sawdust
  • prepare chilling equipment. This may include:
  • cleaning and sanitising
  • checking adequacy of supplies of ice
  • complete a standard sensory evaluation of products prior to tasting
  • identify out-of-specification products and materials or non-compliance with workplace standards and industry codes of practice.
  • take corrective action in response to out-of-specification products or materials or non-compliance
  • report and/or record corrective action as required
  • apply a high standard of personal presentation. This may include:
  • personal hygiene
  • appropriate and clean clothes or uniform
  • handle wines appropriately to maintain optimum wine condition. This may include consideration of:
  • age of wine
  • deposits
  • disintegrating cork
  • tartrates
  • identify a wine that requires decanting
  • decant a wine discreetly, taking customer perceptions into account
  • identify customer’s tasting preferences. This may include:
  • questioning techniques
  • active listening
  • observation techniques
  • referral to wine list
  • demonstrating an open, friendly and interested attitude
  • interpret product labels and select correct wine and spirits according to requirements and/or specifications
  • open product for customer tastings. This may include:
  • selecting correct product according to product list (e.g. vintage)
  • removing top section of capsule cleanly and completely
  • extracting cork cleanly and completely
  • selecting appropriate opening mechanism
  • dating the bottle
  • opening sparkling wines
  • serve the product for customer tasting. This may include:
  • checking date of opening
  • assessing soundness and quality
  • decanting prior to serving
  • correct pouring technique to avoid drips
  • pouring correct tasting volume
  • encourage and facilitate responsible tasting by customers. This may include:
  • identifying customer tasting preferences as soon as possible and offering an appropriate selection of products to taste
  • providing a spittoon
  • providing water and/or soft drinks
  • providing food
  • pouring tasting samples according to workplace policy and procedures
  • maximise the pleasure of the product tasting for the customer. This may include particular attention to:
  • serving product in optimum condition
  • selecting clean, polished glassware of appropriate style
  • providing complementary drinks or food to cleanse the palate
  • providing clean spittoons and napkins
  • providing accurate and relevant information on the products tasted appropriate to customers’ needs
  • allowing the customer time and privacy to taste
  • encouraging the customer to ask questions and/or pass opinion on the product
  • identification of product faults before presenting to the customer and removal of the product from tasting
  • steering the order of tasting to allow products to be tasted in the most beneficial order
  • displaying the product label to the customer
  • resolve customer complaints effectively, promptly and courteously
  • maintain open product between tastings. This may include:
  • stock rotation
  • removing air from bottle and resealing
  • refrigeration
  • labelling
  • shut down equipment as required
  • prepare equipment for cleaning
  • record workplace information
  • maintain work area to meet housekeeping standards
  • manually clean and sanitise equipment according to enterprise procedures
  • advise on products and services according to enterprise procedures
  • sell products and services according to enterprise procedures
  • use oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor
  • work cooperatively within a culturally diverse workforce.

Required knowledge includes:

Note: The following required knowledge should be applied as appropriate to the equipment and processes that are used in the particular winery or workplace.

Knowledge of: 

  • product range and quality characteristics
  • common product faults, features, causes and the corrective action necessary
  • product sensory evaluation techniques (standard)
  • operating procedures for equipment and services used
  • optimum cellaring conditions for a range of products (e.g. wines of varying maturity, fortified and liqueur wines, and spirits)
  • preparation requirements and procedures for glasses, spittoons, chilling equipment and support materials
  • product handling procedures and techniques (e.g. opening, decanting, pouring and displaying the label)
  • procedures to maintain product quality between tastings
  • product knowledge. This may include:
  • product style and taste characteristics
  • optimum serving requirements
  • preparation requirements
  • stock availability
  • label interpretation
  • purpose and principles of standard wine tasting
  • relationship of sales area to other enterprise work areas and activities
  • promotional and brand objectives of the enterprise
  • workplace policies and procedures on:
  • customer service
  • customer complaints
  • responsible service of alcohol
  • safe food handling
  • product storage
  • product tastings
  • personal presentation
  • stock rotation
  • communication techniques, including:
  • body language
  • questioning
  • active listening
  • providing information
  • available information resources (e.g. wine lists, price lists, background documentation, winemaker, brand manager, senior staff and staff with special expertise)
  • occupational health and safety (OHS) hazards and controls
  • procedures and responsibility for reporting problems
  • housekeeping requirements and procedures
  • recording requirements and procedures
  • techniques for manually cleaning and sanitising equipment where relevant
  • techniques for advising on products and services where relevant
  • techniques for selling products and services where relevant.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Assessment must be carried out in a manner that recognises the cultural and literacy requirements of the assessee and is appropriate to the work performed. Competence in this unit must be achieved in accordance with food safety standards and regulations.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of ability to:

  • ensure appropriate cellaring and rotation of stock to maintain product quality and suitability for tastings
  • prepare tasting area, equipment and supplies in a manner suitable for the range of products being tasted and the number of customers in the tasting
  • ensure products are correctly opened, checked and served to customers
  • communicate effectively to customers, including finding preferences, answering questions, and adjusting tasting order or range, to facilitate customer enjoyment
  • demonstrate knowledge of products being tasted
  • resolve customer complaints effectively, promptly and courteously.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must occur in a real or simulated workplace where the assessee has access to:

  • personal protective clothing and equipment as required
  • work procedures, including advice on company practices, safe work practices, food safety, quality and environmental requirements
  • instructions, information, specifications and schedules as required
  • equipment, services and corresponding information as required
  • products and materials as required
  • internal and external customers and suppliers as required
  • cleaning procedures, materials and equipment as required
  • documentation and recording requirements and procedures.

Method of assessment

This unit should be assessed together with other units of competency relevant to the function or work role.

Guidance information for assessment

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities, and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Policies and procedures 

Work is carried out in accordance with workplace procedures, licensing requirements and legislative requirements

Workplace information 

Workplace information can include:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • workplace policy and procedures in regard to conducting product tastings
  • specifications
  • work notes
  • instructions or verbal direction from the manager, supervisor or senior staff

Products for tasting 

Products for tasting may include:

  • wines and spirits

Product knowledge 

Product knowledge may include:

  • product style and characteristics
  • optimum serving condition
  • cellaring potential
  • storage requirements
  • stock availability
  • serving requirements
  • food or occasion matches
  • vintage characteristics
  • production techniques
  • price
  • discounts
  • special offers
  • sizes

Cork characters associated with ageing products 

Cork characters associated with ageing products may include:

  • shrinkage and expansion in response to inconsistent temperature
  • corks drying and shrinking where wine is not kept up to the cork
  • natural cork deterioration through ageing and exacerbated by vermin (e.g. mice and rats)
  • random bottle oxidation from some corks allowing more air in than others
  • cork bleeding, allowing wine and oxygen transfer across the cork barrier

Management techniques and practices for corks of ageing products 

Management techniques and practices for corks of ageing products may include:

  • maintaining a constant cool temperature in bottle storage areas
  • maintaining the seal by keeping bottles in an inverted position and corks wet and expanded
  • monitoring bottles for signs of random bottle oxidation (e.g. darkening or browning of white wine colour) or wine and oxygen transfer (e.g. wine dripping onto the floor below an imperfect seal), and crusting around the seal
  • undertaking assigned responsibilities in a cork maintenance program for museum wines eg submitting wines to laboratory for resealing and bottle topping
  • controlling vermin in the cellar door sales and bottle storage area

Tasting equipment 

Tasting equipment may vary and should include that which is required to prepare for and conduct a wine tasting according to workplace policy and procedures, and may include:

  • spittoons
  • glasses
  • corkscrews
  • foil cutters
  • champagne cork removers
  • decanters
  • wine thermometer
  • stoppers or vac-u-vins

Chilling equipment 

Chilling equipment for product tasting may include:

  • ice buckets
  • fridges
  • cool box or bag
  • rapid ice

Support materials 

Support materials may vary and should include that which is required to prepare for and conduct a wine tasting according to workplace policy and procedures, and may include:

  • product information sheets
  • promotional materials
  • tasting notes
  • evaluation sheets
  • napkins
  • ice
  • water
  • light food
  • pens or markers
  • wine lists


Customers may include:

  • regular, new, external, or enterprise personnel
  • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities. English may not be their first language. Buying or ordering experience and expertise may vary

Product faults 

Product faults may include:

  • tartrates
  • oxidation
  • haze
  • cork taint
  • excessive sulphur
  • packaging defects

Cellar door outlet 

Cellar door outlets may vary according to:

  • size
  • type
  • location

Team members 

Team members may include:

  • people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities


Staff may:

  • be full time, part time or casual
  • work in other areas of the enterprise

Trading or working conditions 

Trading or working conditions may be:

  • routine, busy or quiet

Information systems 

Information systems may be:

  • print or screen based

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector

Wine operations