Is The Test Getting Easier? Ask The 11 New Master Sommeliers.

Lots of people ask me if I’ve ever considered “going for my Masters of Wine,” as if it’s a class run out of the Berkeley Extension, or something one might do over 5 years as a correspondence course. I always smile in reply and tell them I’d be more likely to get my doctorate in quantum physics first. Do you know how hard it is to become a Master Sommelier? So hard that there are only about sixty of them in the US. Er… make that seventy-three as of last week. Rich over at The Wine Cellar pointed out that a couple of days ago 11 new Master Sommeliers were minted in San Francisco. That’s like an increase of twenty percent !! Maybe the test is getting easier. It would have to get a heck of a lot easier, though, to stop me from quaking in my boots. I think the final exam is something like an hour of oral questioning about everything wine, a major multiple choice quiz, and then (get this) blind identification of a dozen or so wines by varietal, region and vintage. Holy cow. I have a hard enough time trying to guess whether there has been any Petite Verdot blended into my Zinfandel without looking at the label!

In any case, a hearty congratulations to the new Master Sommeliers of the world, may you go off and make the wine world a happier place for all of us.