What is the Court of Master Sommeliers?

October 1, 2021 Uncategorized

A Master Sommelier provides their guests with a dining experience they will never forget. How? By creating an atmosphere of exemplary service and providing the perfect pairing between food and drink. The sommelier is able to match the flavor profile of a meal with the peaks and highlights of the accompanying beverage. This practical knowledge is a key aspect of the Court of Master Sommeliers program.

Established in the 1970s, the Court stands out as the international model for its excellent caliber in beverage services. The Court of Master Sommeliers sets the industry standards by guaranteeing each Master Somm has quality wine knowledge, outstanding tasting and evaluation skills, and excellent service and beverage management abilities. With less than 300 Master Sommeliers worldwide, over half of which are part of the Americas chapter, the rich history of integrity and standard of excellence is integral to anyone readying to become a Master Sommelier.

So. What does being a Master Sommelier even mean? Well, for starters, it means they have passed all four course exams held by the Court; the final level of exams is by invitation only and entails not only wine theory and service, but also an in-depth blind tasting of six wines noting the origin, grape, year, and quality of each.

Keep in mind; Master Sommelier is a title, not a position. These are individuals who have a passion and dedication to their profession. Those entering the courses are assumed to be knowledgeable about wines and have the basic core knowledge of key wine regions, grape variety, and climate impact on wine style.

It’s not just about the wine, though. Remember that part about ‘exemplary service’? The Court ensures their Master Sommeliers are well rounded in all beverages and have exceptional hospitality skills. From the start, the Court of Master Sommeliers ensures that the presentation and cultivation of high-level service skills are built upon at each course level.

Being a Master Sommelier is more than just theoretical knowledge and hospitality. A Master Somm is dedicated to learning about upcoming wine trends, creating and curating wine lists and cellars, and being the point of connection between distributors and consumers. Mentorship is a key component of the Court, as is the philosophy of paying it forward. Many Master Somms are eager and excited to share their passion.

Unsure what will pair well with your meal? Want to try something completely new or authentic to the region? Looking for a rare or unconventional food and wine pairing? Just ask! After all, the word ‘sommelier’ means ‘wine servant,’ and who better to introduce you to new experiences than a master?

Looking to wow your dinner guests? Try Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food by Evan Goldstein (Master Sommelier)

Tempted to try the level one course from the Court? You can take courses online here. Or check out Sales and Service for the Wine Professional by Brian K. Julyan (CEO of Court of Master Sommeliers) for a primer text on getting started.

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