Unit of competency details

SITHFAB306 - Provide advice on imported wines (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHFAB013 - Provide advice on imported wines• Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 02/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHFAB326A - Provide specialised advice on imported winesTitle simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. Two prerequisites removed. SITHFAB201 Provide responsible service of alcohol retained as a prerequisite. 17/Jan/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Jan/2013

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
SIT50312 - Diploma of HospitalityDiploma of HospitalitySuperseded1-3 
SIT40412 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial CookerySuperseded1-2 
SIT40613 - Certificate IV in Catering OperationsCertificate IV in Catering OperationsSuperseded
SIT60313 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of HospitalitySuperseded
SIT50212 - Diploma of EventsDiploma of EventsSuperseded1-2 
SIT40413 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial CookerySuperseded
SIT40312 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in HospitalitySuperseded1-3 
SIT30713 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in HospitalitySuperseded
SIT30612 - Certificate III in EventsCertificate III in EventsSuperseded1-2 
SIT40313 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in HospitalitySuperseded
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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 07/Aug/2013 
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Modification History

The version details of this endorsed unit of competency set are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.





Replaces and is equivalent to SITHFAB326A Provide specialised advice on imported wines.

Title simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content.

Two prerequisites removed. SITHFAB201 Provide responsible service of alcohol retained as a prerequisite.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to evaluate a range of imported wines, provide advice to customers on their selection and to continuously extend personal product knowledge.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to hospitality, retail and wholesale organisations which sell imported wines.

It applies to senior personnel who operate independently or with limited guidance from others and who have substantial specialist knowledge of imported wines. This includes beverage sales consultants, winery sales staff, bar specialists, sommeliers and senior bar and restaurant personnel.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

The sale and service of alcohol is subject to the provisions of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) law in each state and territory of Australia. Skills and knowledge for compliance with this law are covered by the prerequisite unit SITHFAB201 Provide responsible service of alcohol.


This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite unit:


Provide responsible service of alcohol

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria

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.

1. Evaluate imported wines.

1.1 Identify and explore the characteristics of a range of imported wines  using the full range of sensory evaluation techniques .

1.2 Review other information  about viticulture and specific imported wine styles, regions and production methods to complement the sensory evaluation process.

1.3 Develop informed opinions about imported wine that support work as a specialist in wine .

2. Handle, store and monitor imported wine products.

2.1 Store and cellar imported wine according to particular requirements  of different wines.

2.2 Monitor wine quality and recognise impaired quality  based on in depth knowledge of wines.

2.3 Resolve issues with wine quality through accurate identification of faults and appropriate corrective action.

2.4 Decant wines using techniques appropriate to the variety, style and vintage of wine.

3. Advise customers on imported wines.

3.1 Provide accurate information and assistance about different imported wine options.

3.2 Discuss and debate wine characteristics, origins and production methods with customers, taking account of customer level of wine knowledge.

3.3 Take account of appropriate and ethical business considerations  when providing advice and make adjustments accordingly.

3.4 Assist customers with wine selections according to taste, price preferences and other specific needs.

4. Extend and update own knowledge imported wines.

4.1 Conduct formal and informal research  to access current, accurate and relevant information about imported wines.

4.2 Identify trends in customer tastes based on direct contact and workplace experience.

4.3 Source information on current and emerging beverage service trends  and customer preferences.

4.4 Provide informed input about Australian wines to support organisational activities .

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to articulate advice about imported wines and to discuss and debate different ideas and opinions about products
  • critical thinking skills to evaluate wide ranging information about wine
  • learning skills to continuously update knowledge of international wines
  • literacy skills to:
  • read and interpret detailed product information, promotional material and reviews about imported wines
  • research information on current and emerging beverage service trends and customer preferences
  • write notes, summarise and record information in basic documents such as information sheets, portfolios and files
  • planning and organising skills to schedule regular checks on the storage of beverage products
  • problem-solving skills to identify product faults and make judgments about appropriate remedial action
  • self-management skills to take responsibility for sourcing and updating current and emerging product information
  • teamwork skills to share current knowledge and new information with colleagues.

Required knowledge 

  • the full range of sensory evaluation techniques and their relevance to different types of wines:
  • assessing balance of wine features on the palate
  • smell or nose appraisal
  • taste appraisal
  • visual appraisal
  • structure, history, trends and philosophies of:
  • the international wine industry
  • the major international wine producing nations
  • general understanding of the operation of wine shows and wine medal systems in an international context
  • characteristics of major imported wines including those from:
  • emerging wine growing countries
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • North and South America
  • South Africa
  • for each wine region, the characteristics must include:
  • different wine types and their styles
  • different production methods
  • label terminology and interpretation
  • major regional variations
  • principal grape varieties used in wine types
  • a broad overview of wine production and naming laws
  • broad overview of relevant geography and its impact on wine growing
  • impact of the vineyard and viticultural techniques affecting the taste and style of wine
  • annual cycle of a general vineyard and regional specific cycles
  • wine production methods and variations for white, red, sparkling and fortified wines, including:
  • basic wine production steps and variations for different wines (harvesting, crushing, pressing, fermentation, clarification, maturing, bottling)
  • old world approaches to wine making and attitudes to new world wine making
  • specific production techniques for white wine (additional clarification process – before and after fermentation, pressing, malolactic fermentation and oak usage)
  • specific production techniques for red wine (fermentation on the skins, maceration techniques such as pumping over, plunging down, heading down and rotary fermenters
  • specific production techniques for sparkling wines such as traditionelle, the transfer process, tank fermentation and carbonation
  • specific production techniques for fortified wines
  • factors that affect the style and quality of wine, including:
  • climate
  • soil
  • grape variety
  • viticultural techniques
  • storage
  • vinification techniques
  • key structural components in wine and their impact on taste, including alcohol, tannin, sugar, fruit flavour
  • indicators of quality in wines and analysis and diagnosis of wine faults or impairments, including:
  • oxidation
  • tartrates
  • cloudiness
  • cork faults
  • presence of hydrogen sulphide
  • wine service techniques, including serving aged wines and processes for the decanting of wine
  • storage and cellaring requirements for a range of wines and reasons for these contributing factors of a successful wine list
  • overview of the types of foods that match successfully with different wines.

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 

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

Evidence of the ability to:

  • evaluate a range of imported wines using sensory evaluation techniques including:
  • assessing balance of wine features on the palate
  • smell or nose appraisal
  • taste appraisal
  • visual appraisal
  • identify the characteristics of imported wines from:
  • emerging wine growing countries
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • North and South America
  • South Africa
  • provide advice to customers on their selection
  • maintain and continuously extend personal product knowledge to enhance organisational activities
  • integrate knowledge of:
  • past, current and emerging trends in the international wine industry
  • characteristics of international wines.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • a hospitality, wine or retail industry business operation which sells imported wines and workplace documentation defined in the Assessment Guidelines; this may be a:
  • real industry workplace
  • simulated industry environment such as a training outlet servicing customers
  • industry-realistic ratios of bar staff to customers
  • other people with whom the individual can interact to discuss beverage characteristics and options, and to answer varied questions about imported wines
  • current product information within sales kits, brochures, product manuals, supplier information kits, information databases and computerised information sources
  • a wide commercial range of imported wines.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the individual providing advice to customers or colleagues about imported wines
  • observation of a presentation on selected imported wines
  • project activities that allow assessment of the individual’s ability to research information about imported wines and write beverage menus and lists which meet the customer preferences of a given hospitality organisation
  • written or oral questioning to assess knowledge of:
  • past, current and emerging trends in the international wine industry
  • characteristics of international wines
  • review of portfolio of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the individual.

Guidance information for assessment 

The assessor should design integrated assessment activities to holistically assess this unit with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role, for example:

  • SITHFAB201 Provide responsible service of alcohol
  • SITHFAB302 Conduct a product tasting for alcoholic beverages
  • SITHFAB307 Provide table service of food and beverage
  • SITHFAB308 Provide silver service
  • SITXCCS303 Provide service to customers.

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.

Imported wines  include those from:

  • emerging wine growing countries
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • North and South America
  • South Africa.

Sensory evaluation techniques  include:

  • smell or nose appraisal:
  • techniques for releasing aroma and bouquet
  • recognising ‘off’ odours
  • assessing intensity of aromas
  • describing smell characteristics (e.g. fruity, vegetal, spicy)
  • assessing age
  • taste appraisal:
  • techniques for releasing wine flavours (sucking in air, swirling wine over taste buds)
  • spitting techniques
  • recognising acidity, sweetness, weight or body, length, wine faults
  • assessing balance of wine features on the palate
  • visual appraisal:
  • wine swirling and glass handling
  • use of light and background
  • intensity and type of colour
  • clarity
  • identifying ‘legs’ or ‘tears’ to assess alcohol or glycerol content.

Other information  may include:

  • details of production methods
  • presentation sessions from growers, wholesalers, distributors, visiting winemakers
  • product reviews
  • promotional information
  • reference texts on wines.

Work as a specialist in wine  might involve:

  • conducting specialised wine tastings
  • developing wine list suggestions
  • making presentations on wine
  • providing winery tours
  • selling wine to corporations
  • selling wine to individuals.

Particular requirements  may relate to:

  • amount of UV light
  • humidity
  • shelf life
  • stock rotation
  • temperature
  • vibrations.

Impaired quality  might relate to:

  • cloudiness
  • cork faults
  • oxidation
  • presence of hydrogen sulphide
  • tartrates.

Appropriate and ethical business considerations  may include:

  • current stock
  • profitability requirements
  • range being promoted
  • stock availability
  • supplier arrangements.

Formal and informal research  may include:

  • attending trade shows
  • attending wine tastings
  • reading general and trade media and supplier information
  • reading wine reference books
  • taking up memberships of associations and industry bodies
  • talking to product suppliers, winemakers and vineyard managers
  • using the Internet.

Beverage service trends  may relate to:

  • contemporary eating and drinking habits
  • cultural and ethnic influences
  • major events and festivals
  • media influence
  • seasonal and popular influences.

Organisational activities  may include:

  • conducting product tastings and tours
  • providing product advice and selling beverages to customers
  • selecting or assisting with selection of products from suppliers
  • writing or providing input to:
  • beverage menus
  • beverage lists
  • food and beverage matching menus.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Food and Beverage