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How hard is to become a Master Sommelier?

Hello everyone I would like to have an open discussions about how hard is to become a Master Sommelier.

Since the foundation of the Court of Master Sommilier in the 70's only 257 have passed successfully the exam and been acknowledge as Master Sommielier.

If we take a look back 40 years since the first exam towards today the wine world is completely different since then. Back in the 70's the world just started to heal from WW 2 devastating affects  and through the market still had boycotts, agriculture just re-started (as example Australia. the renewal of viticulture just begun) and simply less geographic areas have been asked, less regions considered as classics wines or to put it in short - a Master Sommelier required to know less (maybe even less then an Advance sommelier today?). 

On the other hand, back then to acquire knowledge in today terms can be consider "Mission: Impossible". Much less books, much harder to put hands on the latest info, wines and vintages. There was no people like Jancis Robinson, Fred Dame, Hugh Johnson, Gerard Basset, all of those who we, the young somms consider as Gods on earth. They didn't have anyone to mentor them. Today any beginner somm can just google and order from home in pajamas few books, get a membership in a website like this and to know the latest news. Much more approachable in one click distance.

In my opinion, even though the info today is much more approachable and much easy to acquire it is harder then the 70's. To able to know by heart all of this massive amount of info, a true passion is needed, because there is much more sexy jobs out there, with normal hours, high pay grade and much less exhausting then 50+ hours a week on your legs running around the venue and late night finish time.

What do you think? 

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  • I completely agree with Mia.  This exam is extremely difficult but not impossible.  I also think that the exam has to be harder as the world of wine grows to show a true mastery of the subject.  You do not have to pass a test to be a master in your given career but this exam in particular, in a world where wine does not have a true curriculum in higher education and universities (you still have to sign up for WSET and other courses but it's not a true part of the secondary education system) the bar set by the Masters Exam gives us the standard we need to reach.  

    I also work an average of 60+ hours a week on my feet as a restaurant manager and sommelier, study for three hours a day and I love every minute of it.  The work we do creates a memorable experience for guests.  We are there for their best days from anniversaries and birthdays to reunions and engagements.  We have the honor of helping to make these experiences.  We give them new memories they take with them every day and if my knowledge helps our guests and staff better enjoy their experience and gets them excited about wine, then I will never stop studying.

    To jump on the bandwagon quote: "Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest.  And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in." -Stephen Hawking

  • I do agree with you but none of your say is regard the subject I put up. Past VS Present

    I'm not saying it was easy back then just less hard

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