How can you verify that someone really has a Second Level Somm
Is there a list online of who has the cert? Or some place I can call?
Perhaps an example of what a diploma looks like?
"Harley" wrote ...........
What qualification from which educational authority?
The most widely recognized and prestigious wine titles in the world are
Master Sommelier (MS) and Master of Wine (MW)
The Court of Master Sommeliers is based in London and has been educating and
certifying sommeliers since 1977.
Wine/service experience is a requirement for the introductory course and a
minimum of five years in the wine/service industry is required for the
advanced course. The master diploma exam is by invitation only after
successful completion of the introductory and advanced exams. There are
currently 112 Master Sommeliers in the world.
The American Chapter can be found here
Court of Master Sommeliers
c/o: Balzac Communications
Phone: (707) 255-7667
The International Sommelier Guild is an Oregon based body which accredits
through local schools.
They offer four levels from Wine Fundamentals 1 & 2, to a Sommelier Diploma
program, thence to a Grand Sommelier Diploma program.
In this day and age of fake qualifications (I myself am very proud of my
peerage!!!!) it is very easy to check the validity of a claim.
If this person has this "second level somm certification" that certification
must come from an organization. And the obviuos answer is: call that
organization and ask a confirmation of this person's status as a sommelier.
"Jose" in news:UToMg.17231$% firstname.lastname@example.org :
They are somms, in that they specialize in the restaurant or service side of
wine; masters of their trade, in that they've demonstrated objective
ability, which includes the series of exams.
Two skilled, respected somms in my region passed for MS last year. Both are
very quietly competent, in my experience, as well as passionate about wine.
(One of them, a few years earlier, spotted a counterfeit esoteric Burgundy
at a wine tasting -- later confirmed -- by a change in its usual lettering
on the capsule. The other was asked by a friend of mine to summarize what
capability is expected of MS licentiates. He answered, I'll paraphrase:
enough detailed knowledge to permit parachuting into a restaurant most
anywhere, and know whatever wines they'd have on hand and accurately advise
customers about them.)
My (casual) impression from comments by several MSs and MWs -- I'm happy to
be corrected -- is that the MS program includes emphasis on broad
encyclopedic knowledge of wine regions and producers, in comparison to the
blind sensory evaluation and winemaking elements that stand out in accounts
of the (somewhat older and merchant-oriented) Master of Wine (MW)
credential, though obviously all of these elements are relevant to both, and
both are intended for professionals with experience and talent. (The MW
candidates today also write a substantial thesis as part of the program.)
Even trainees for the MS can be impressive. One of them worked at a unique
high-end bistro in my region (Village Pub, Woodside, California) a few years
ago when a wine-merchant friend called for a spontaneous dinner there around
two older, fairly obscure Spanish wines she'd acquired. She brought them to
the restaurant and the young MS trainee on duty not only spoke knowledgeably
and respectfully on the wines as soon as he saw them, but suggested
thoughtful counterpoint wines from the restaurant's list, when we raised the
FWIW -- Max
PS -- Longtime North American wine fans may recall the in-depth article, in
the US wine magazine "Vintage," on the MW (not MS) program in the late
1970s, detailing the stringent blind-tasting requirements in the practical
exams, and their low pass rate. The subject was also discussed in the early
days of the wine newsgroup (net.wines, 1980s).
I doubt that luck has much to do with it. I'm quite sure that the MSs
are well paid for their services and move elsewhere if their
compensation doesn't meet expectations. It's no different from any
worker who demonstrates unusual mastery of their subject.