As you know, there are many reasons for attending a Chief Wine Officer event.
Among them is the fact you get to hear from globally renowned wine experts. These include several possessors of the most highly prized wine qualification in the world. It’s notoriously difficult to achieve – the pass rate is just 10%. That’s one reason why there are just 355 successful graduates, across 29 countries.
The Master of Wine has been described as ‘nothing a sane person would embark upon lightly; it’s a quest for professionals’. In short – it’s the ultimate test of ‘theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the art, science and business of wine’. Qualifying takes a minimum of three years, often much longer. What’s more, it’s self-study, making self-discipline an absolute must. That’s assuming you get to take the course. A high percentage of applicants are rejected due to lack of wine knowledge.
The awarding body, The Institute of Masters of Wine, launched the exam in 1953. There are three elements:
1) Theory – five three-hour question papers on viticulture, vinification and pre-bottling procedures, the handling of wine, the business of wine, and contemporary issues.
2) Practical – three 12-wine blind tastings, each lasting two and a quarter hours, in which wines must be assessed for variety, origin, winemaking, quality and style.
3) Research Paper – the candidate choses a project and produces between 6,000 and 10,000 words.
As you can see, becoming a Master of Wine takes incredible dedication.
If that’s all too much, you can settle for the world’s second-most prestigious wine qualification. That is of course… the Chief Wine Officer. See you at the next event, and the best of luck in your quest to gain this sought-after award!
Are you an oenophiliac? Think you’ve got what it takes to become a Master of Wine? Tackle these questions from the 2017 exam (we don’t have the answers):
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