The Court of Master Sommeliers
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established to encourage quality standards for beverage service in hotels and restaurants.
The first Master Sommelier examination was held in London, in the United Kingdom in 1969. By 1977 the Court Of Master Sommeliers was established and has since become the premier examining body for Sommeliers worldwide.
Courses are now conducted regularly throughout Europe, Oceania, Asia and the Americas.
Part 1: Restaurant Services and Salesmanship
The candidate is required to wear his or her normal working clothes, provide a corkscrew and other tools of the trade for the examination and should be able to:
- Discuss, recommend and serve aperitifs, displaying a sound knowledge of the products and the ability to serve them correctly.
- Select, prepare and position glassware necessary for the service of drinks in the lounge, restaurant, function room or private suite.
- Discuss menu content and wine list, recommending wines to accompany food, displaying a sound knowledge of the products, their vintage and characeristics.
- Present, offer and prepare, (decanting where necessary) and serve wines demonstrating a high degree of efficiency and proficiency.
- Present offer, prepare and serve brandies, and liqueurs. Handle queries and complaints with skill and diplomacy.
- Discuss the size of the measures that may be expected from each.
- Display a sound knowledge of Beverage Management.
Part 2: Theoretical Knowledge
- Speak with authority on the wine areas of the world and their products
- Know the principal grape varieties used in wine making and the areas of the world where they are cultivated.
- Answer questions on international wine laws, including those of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia and the USA.
- Display knowledge of fortified wines, their vinification, storage, and handling.
- Describe the various methods of distillation and production of spirits and liqueurs.
- Explain the process of making beers and cigars and the reasons for the variations in style between different products.
- Discuss how the products should be stored to ensure that they remain in the optimum condition
Part 3: Practical Tasting
The tasting examination relies on the candidate’s verbal abilities, clearly and accurately describing six different wines tasted blind. Within twenty-five minutes he or she must: describe the appearance, bouquet and taste and identify, where appropriate, grape varieties, country of origin, district of origin and vintage of the wines tasted.
Why Become a Master Sommelier?
- Eligibility for membership of the internationally recognised Court of Master Sommeliers.
- Improved promotion, job opportunities, salary prospects and recognition within the industry.
- The letter MS after your name will reassure a potential employer that you are a professional beverage manager and can control an efficient, profitable beverage service.
- Exclusivity – Over the four decades since the Court’s first examination was held, only around 240 candidates have earned the prestigious title Master Sommelier from the UK, USA, Germany, France, Holland, Australia & New Zealand.
- In the service of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, the Master Sommelier Diploma is the ultimate professional credential that anyone can attain worldwide.
- By Wearing the Court badge you indicate to your customers that you have reached the highest level of proficiency and knowledge in your profession. When choosing wines and other drinks they know they can follow your advice with confidence.
Source: The Court of Master Sommeliers