Relieved to report that I passed the intro yesterday at Salamander Resort in Middleburg. Andy, James, Robert, and Jarrod were great.
My question is about the jump between intro and certified. My prep for intro was to read the course outline, back it up with the study guides, and back it up with the relevant sections of McNeil's book. I still didn't feel totally comfortable, and am pretty sure I missed plenty of the questions on France.
So I guess my question is: what has been your experience with the difference in intensity of study, level of specificity, etc? In talking with some of the other students in the class, there seemed to be two schools of thought: that certified wasn't un-doable if you were well prepped for intro (and maybe I wasn't), or that it would be significantly more challenging.
In addition, I'm wondering about the format. Is it still two days of review? Or is it just the theory, blind taste (two wines?) and service?
I do not agree at all with Stephanie. There is jump between Intro to Cert but is not high at all. I would say the difference is about the medium size details. They will not ask you about ABV or grape must levels but they will do want you to know smaller AOC (like where is Bordalino or Murey and what grape they use) they want you know major vintages for Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux and Port. You need to recognize the 1855 classified growth and where they are...
and in short answer - know what located where and for a bit major regions (like loire valley or Rijoa) know the grapes
Complete doable... regard the wines as far I know for cert level you asked to taste 2 wines (1 white 1 red). I did my Intro+Cert 2 weeks ago in Sydney under CMS Oceania that belong to the European chapter
The pass rate for my class was around 50%. It's quite a big jump. I passed with a 4 month gap between the two, and I felt good about theory, but I was totally nerding out at home reading about wine every chance I got. If you feel that level 2 was easy or that it's not a big jump, I think that says more about your level of proficiency than it does about the test actually being easy.
It is true that it's not absolutely ridiculously hard, but there were a lot of niche-y questions on the test and unless you know wine quite well, you're going to miss those questions.