What does it take to pass what is perhaps the most daunting and difficult exam in the world? Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth knows. He sat for the Master Sommelier exam twice – as it is rare for anyone to pass on the first go round – and became a Master Sommelier in 2008. Since then he’s been on a mission to aggregate all the information needed to prepare for the exam in one place. The Master Sommelier (MS) exam is so infamous that a documentary film was made about it called SOMM. It is being given this weekend, May 18 -21, in Aspen, Colorado, the only time the test is being administered this year. So if you don’t pass, you basically have to wait another year to try again. No pressure for the exam candidates, right? There are 211 Master Sommeliers world wide. The pass rate for the exam is…
Fashion designers are celebrities. Chefs are rock stars. What about sommeliers? These wine professionals are getting their 15 minutes of fame too. Instead of going to cooking school, people go to somm school. Maybe that’s why 100 people signed up to take the Introductory Course and Examination given by the Court of Master Sommeliers on a recent weekend in San Francisco.
If you think becoming a sommelier is all fun and drinking wine, you should know this. It’s no cake walk. You have to read and study, study, study, and practice identifying wines tasted blind.
What was I doing there, about to take the introductory course?