Friday, October 26, 2007

Want to Be a Sommelier?

Here's your chance! Or at least, a cool opportunity. Mark your calendars for September 2008. Arthur Black tells me he's confirming that Indianapolis will host next year a Level 1 introductory course and exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers, the international governing body who administers sommelier certifications. As most of you know, there are four levels to becoming a Master Sommelier including extensive and difficult written exams, oral exams, and service tests covering everything from production to geography. Many industry professionals spend a lifetime working up to the rating of Master Sommelier -- and working carefully at it since you can only take the exams a limited number of times. Arthur is currently preparing for his last step -- his Master's exam putting him on track to be one of the youngest Master Sommeliers in the United States.

In the meantime, I think preparing for and taking the first level exam next September is a great way to give yourself a good foundation in wine education. (I'm considering doing it.) The exam follows a two-day comprehensive seminar which one must pass with a 60% score -- and the website notes 95% of all attendees pass the multiple choice exam. Suggested preparation materials and a reading list are online and most of the books are staples of any good wine reference library. In other words, you probably already have them. (I'm sending a special thanks again to the friend-o-mine who gave me the recommended Sotheby's wine encyclopedia for my birthday this year.) Estimated cost of the level 1 course is about $500 (a write-off for those in the business.) And if we have a solid turnout, our fair city might be able to join their annual schedule. Think of it as a great excuse to start preparing your wine knowledge -- every sip is test prep! Maybe we'll even issue the Feed Me/Drink Me sommelier challenge.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Sorry for the aside, but food news:

Saw a sign for Masala Kitchen to come soon to the City market. Woo, more Indian food downtown!