Service portion of certified exam

I passed my intro class 2 months ago, I am currently studying to take my certified exam in the next year. I am a member of a weekly blind tasting study group, and I am using my intro work book to study theory, my question to this forum is what should I expect to be tested on verbally when I take the service portion of certified, what are they going to ask me about? I'm briefly going over apertifs and digestifes right now as that subject is a weak point for me,is there anything else I should prepare for? What are some of the questions the master's quized you on during the service portion? If you are allowed to answer that (I'm not sure if that is allowed) thank you for your time

  • Remember that the service exam is just that - an examination of your service skills. Your theory knowledge should carry you though and allow you to answer any questions the examiner may have. But remember...this is an opportunity for you to showcase your service skills. Focus on that. 

  •  I agree completely with the other comments. One thing I would add is keep studying theory. If you have theory down solidly you should be able to answer anything anyone asks you. Regions, sub-regions, Champagne cuvees, vintages, classic cocktails and beer are some areas you might want to focus on.

     Prior to my exam I took a day and made a wine and beverage list as if I were composing one for a restaurant. Go nuts. You can put anything you want on that. Old world, new world, weird, whatever you want. Be sure to add a draft list and think about what spirits you would stock your bar with. What are some classic spirits and liqueurs that would be necessary in an upscale restaurant? Then commit it to memory as you would if you worked in a place with an advanced beverage program. This really helped me develop a strong backbone in the event that you will be asked to make pairing suggestions, bottle recommendations or anything related to digestifs and aperitifs. Be prepared to make several recommendations on any variety of beverages. 

     If you're not working the floor now find a way to practice service at home or with your tasting group. I found a horribly cheap sparkling wine that had a plastic cork that I could reinsert. This way I could keep practicing opening the bottle w/o the pop. I had my friends come over a drill me on cocktails, beers- anything really. If your friends are anything like mine they will probably be harder on you than an MS at a certified exam. Otherwise keep nailing theory. Anything you will be asked will be somewhere in what you study- there's just no telling what you may be asked so be ready for anything. 

     Hope that helps.