The Court of Master Sommeliers has issued the following press release about developments regarding the recent MS tasting exam. While GuildSomm is not directly affiliated with the CMS, we want to share this important news for the wine community here. We know this was an incredibly difficult decision for the Court, but we appreciate efforts to protect the integrity of CMS titles and exams and to ensure that exams remain fair for all of those who sit.
October 9, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:Kathleen Lewis(707) 255-5056 x11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Board of Directors Takes Unanimous Actions to Preserve Integrity of Examination Process
NAPA, Calif. – The Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas unanimously voted to invalidate the results of the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Examination for all candidates due to clear evidence that a Master breached the confidentiality with respect to the wines presented for tasting.
“Maintaining the integrity of the examination process must be our highest priority, lest we risk diminishing the value of, and the respect earned from, becoming a Master Sommelier,” said Devon Broglie, MS, Chairman of the Board. “Our credential is known throughout the hospitality industry worldwide, and it guarantees that the holder of the Master Sommelier title is among the most qualified of all wine industry professionals. A compromised examination does not provide that guarantee."
The Board of Directors found sufficient evidence that the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Examination was compromised by the release of detailed information concerning wines in the tasting flight. The Board unanimously voted to fully void those results to protect the integrity of not only the examination process but also the reputation of the Court of Master Sommeliers and the title Master Sommelier.
“We understand this decision is a shock to those who recently passed this examination, and we carefully considered the impact our decision has on our newly pinned Masters and their careers,” Broglie said. “We are committed to developing an expedited process so that all eligible candidates can retake the tasting examination."
The Board of Directors has barred the Master involved from participating in any Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas programs or events and has voted unanimously to initiate the process of terminating membership pursuant to the organization’s bylaws.
“Our honor and integrity are the best safeguards for preserving the reputation of the Court of Master Sommeliers, our members, and our industry as a whole,” Broglie said.
ABOUT THE COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS, AMERICAS
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter.
There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Examination; 2) Certified Sommelier Examination; 3) Advanced Sommelier Examination; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma Examination. For more information, please visit www.mastersommeliers.org.
Who is the Master responsible?
The rumors have been around for years about distributors manipulating all aspects of our business. In the end though, the damage is done. It's a very sad day, ,no joke.
Distributor manipulation in the exam? Really? I don't disagree with you about them working angles in the business. But this is not even the same topic. This is a case of one individual screwing it up for everyone else.
Somewhat agreed. Just brought up because we have seen numerous "sample" exams passed around by certain distributors for their employees benefit. One individual may have screwed it up as you stated, but how many took advantage of it?
Michael. Just Stop.
One needs to look no further than the study guides and review questions that follow here on GuildSomm to get a sense of what degree of knowledge might be expected for various levels of examination. The distributors handing out "sample" exams that you speak of give no more advantage than anyone with a thirst for knowledge that is registered as a member here, or cares enough to open the Wine Atlas.
Examples of examination questions, wines, or service scenarios, are barometers of preparation and a means for muscle memory. Nothing can replicate the environment or pressure of 25 minutes to describe 6 wines in front of 3 Masters on a reset year, or any other aspect of the exam.
One ex-Master screwed this up for everyone. Whoever chose to take advantage of it, if they did, that is on them. I'll vouch for every one of the other 23 until I learn otherwise.
Love you Vince. I agree just know we are all here to help in any way we can.
Much love Vince!
You are the best Vince. You said it perfectly. The pressure of the tasting portion of the exam is like nothing anyone who has not experienced it can know. My first time sitting I actually spilled most of the first glass I grabbed out of shear nerves (I'd never done that before).
I will not apologize because you folks are living, and working in "fantasy land". Deal with it.
Exactly what is "fantasy land"?
...and how does one get there!?
You seem unhelpful.