Sommelier exams annulled after leak
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