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…
SOMM Reveals Secret World of the Master Sommeliers
It’s not easy to make a film or a video around the subject of wine. I should know, I produced the TV show In Wine Country on NBC for nine seasons. Wine on the big or little screen gets super boring. Our challenge was always ‘how do we make wine interesting? How do we make it less intimidating?’
One way to do it is to tell stories about the people and not focus on the wine. And that’s what SOMM, a documentary film directed by Jason Wise does. SOMM opened the 2nd annual Napa Valley Film Festival Wednesday night to a packed house and standing ovation. While I’d venture to say our crowd was very wine savvy, SOMM does something that makes it worth seeing. SOMM takes you into the world of The Court of Master Sommeliers, an organization that is notoriously secretive. That they let Jason’s camera capture what it is like to prepare for an exam that only 200 or so people have ever passed is extraordinary.