Som­me­lier ex­ams an­nulled after leak

Decanter - - A MONTH IN WINE -

THE COURT of Mas­ter Som­me­liers Amer­i­cas has con­firmed that ‘de­tailed in­for­ma­tion’ on wines form­ing part of the no­to­ri­ously tough MS tast­ing exam was leaked, and that the re­sults of the tast­ing part of the 2018 Mas­ter Som­me­lier Diploma Ex­am­i­na­tion have con­se­quently been an­nulled.

Although can­di­dates will be al­lowed to re-sit the exam, the an­nounce­ment ef­fec­tively stripped 23 mas­ter som­me­liers of their newly earned and hard-won ti­tles.

The Court said that its board of di­rec­tors voted unan­i­mously to in­val­i­date the re­sults from the tast­ing test, which had been taken in the first week of Septem­ber.

This fol­lowed ‘suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence’ that the tast­ing exam ‘was com­pro­mised by the re­lease of de­tailed in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing wines in the tast­ing flight’, the Court said.

It did not name the per­son, or per­sons, held re­spon­si­ble for the in­for­ma­tion breach.

‘We un­der­stand this de­ci­sion is a shock to those who re­cently passed this ex­am­i­na­tion, and we care­fully con­sid­ered the im­pact our de­ci­sion would have on our newly pinned masters and their ca­reers,’ said Devon Broglie MS, chair­man of the board.

‘We are com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing an ex­pe­dited process so that all el­i­gi­ble can­di­dates can re­take the tast­ing ex­am­i­na­tion. Main­tain­ing the in­tegrity of the ex­am­i­na­tion process must be our high­est pri­or­ity.’

The af­fected som­me­liers were in­formed of the Court board’s de­ci­sion just one month after cel­e­brat­ing their suc­cess in what Broglie had formerly dubbed ‘the most suc­cess­ful Mas­ter Som­me­lier Diploma Ex­am­i­na­tion the Court of Mas­ter Som­me­liers Amer­i­cas has ever ad­min­is­tered’.

Above: the cov­eted lapel pin worn by all mas­ter som­me­liers

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