How To Train For The World's Most Elite Biggest Mistakes You're Making 1 day ago   07:57

The Master sommelier exam was established in 1969, to distinguish and certify the cream of wine professionals — those deigned specialist enough to work in the very finest dining in the world. It has a reputation for being impossible to pass. Becoming certified is so difficult that to date there are fewer than 300 master sommeliers in the world.

On average only about 10 to 12 percent of those who attempt the test actually pass each year. Last year’s results were unprecedented — a record 24 sommeliers passed. But after allegations emerged that someone leaked information about the exam in an email, all 23 those who took the blind tasting last year had their title revoked.

Most aspiring masters fall at the last hurdle — the blind tasting portion of the exam — where they are required to describe and identify the origin, grape, year, and quality of 6 wines — just by tasting them. Training for this exam is renowned for being mentally, emotionally and financially taxing.

But although the byzantine process is costly and all consuming, there is a life-long payoff for passing. Master sommeliers are revered for a combination of their profound arcane knowledge of wine and exceptional palates, and can double their salaries as a result.

Which is why when allegations of cheating emerged last year, the wine world was scandalized. A few weeks after the record pass rate, the board of examiners revealed that someone had leaked information in an email about the blind tasting wines, and the decision was made to revoke the titles of all 23 newly awarded masters.

Among them was Vincent Morrow, and his housemates Andrey and Jeremy. They live together in San Francisco where they are training for a retest.

VICE News spent some time with them in the weeks leading up to the retake.

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Comments 796 Comments

Most aspiring masters fall at the last hurdle — the blind tasting portion of the exam — where they are required to describe and identify the origin, grape, year, and quality of 6 wines — just by tasting them.
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Stoptheabuse now
Lol this is so extra
David P
I thought this was a joke when he was working out and tasting wine
Tayler Thompson
all of this just to work at butt fucks steak house?
Halley Rai
coz its all bullshit and u just guess....thats why many fail
Heru Jr. of Kemet
They DEFINITELY wanted to take away this accomplishment from 2 of the for sure. Too bad the one they wanted to win didn't.
pa boland
this is the most retarded thing i have ever seen
The Road to Cosplay and Comic Con
Wine tastes nasty I have had it before its nasty
Alonso Martii
I can test this and drink 12 drinks then I'll go to sleep
Haley Zahradnik
Next on, "Top Ten Ways To Lie to Yourself About Crippling Alcoholism"...
Fanaticalplel Oof
Wine exams are so fake on Adam ruins everything he said a “pro” wine taster couldn’t tell Shit between cheap or pricey wine
Truth B Known
What a waste of time and money, Spend your parents money on a real degree and profession.
Sommeliers have only screwed up the wine business. They make bad sales reps.
These tests mean nothing. They just retake until they guess the right ones. Its just odds that some get it and some dont. Complete trash test.
JT Dayo
My girlfriend became a master sommelier by drinking 6 times a day.
Paul A
0:26 "I smell lemon, chamomile...
(sweat drips into the glass)
...ocean brine."
Andrew Yarosh
Just hire Reggie Narito, and he will provide all the answers so you can pass.
Daniel Benavides
This feels like a cult lmao
This reminds me of that king of the hill episode where Peggy and Jimmy Wichard get scammed into buying a "genius" book.
combo gogoi
Kidus Girma
The worst thing that can happen is getting the flu on the day of the exam.
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Biggest Mistakes You're Making How To Train For The World's Most Elite 1 day ago   04:48

Business Insider UK spoke to Amelia Singer, a wine expert. Singer is a TV presenter on The Wine Show and writes for Waitrose Food Magazine. She told us about the most common mistakes made when serving wine.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

Amelia Singer: Hi my name is Amelia Singer and I’m a wine expert, TV presenter on the wine show, and I run my own wine tasting and consultancy business, Amelia’s wine.

Everyone thinks red wine and cheese is really great. I know it’s really romantic and it’s the iconic image of valentines day or some kind of rom-com, but guys it really doesn’t do justice to either the wine or the cheese. If you really love both, then you think about this.

So effectively cheese can have quite a lot of acidity, particularly goat’s and sheep’s cheeses and hard cheeses and when you match it with a red wine, which often doesn’t have the same acidity and actually normally has quite a bit of tannin and alcohol. What’s going to happen is it’s going to clash and only exacerbates the acidity, and the tannin, and the alcohol levels. It’s going to dry out your wine, and it’s going to completely dry out your cheese. No, go.

My own personal pet peeve is that white wine is served too cold and red wine is served too warm. Why is this important? Well, when a wine is cold it basically mutes it and means that it’s not able to express its aroma and its full range of flavour compounds, now if you have a really cheap insipid white wine that’s fine; my mother’s Pinot Grigio with ice.

However if you are having something more complex, or something which is really meant to be fruity and perfumed then take it outside the fridge, maybe pour it in your glass and maybe let it open up a bit for 5 minutes. Same thing for reds, often particularly with really light, aromatic, juicy red wine. Shove that red wine in the fridge for half an hour, take it out and then you’ll find that instantly the aromas will become way more intense, it’ll be fresher and fruitier and then what’s quite fun is you can just see how it evolves in your glass.

Sometimes, like people, the wine just needs to breathe and chill out before you’re actually going to get its true potential and particularly if you’ve got really alcoholic muscular red wine and it’s very young, you know it’s got lots of testosterone and you’re just like chill out.

Just open it up, you need to pour it out, you can pour it out into a decanter if you want to be posh, or you can pour it into a water jug. Basically, anything that will allow the wine to aerate and release it’s flavour compounds.

In regards to wine glassware, people can get really stressed out. which again is sad, if you have a beautiful wine and you’ve only got a mug available just go for it. However, if you really want to taste and appreciate the nuances in your glass of wine it can make a difference.

You really want to keep the bubbles in your sparkling wine, carbon dioxide can basically travel up the glass to keep the bubbles bubblier when you have a flute, which is this here. And always you want to hold it down here because you don’t want to heat up your sparkling wine.

You can hold a red wine glass like that if you want to warm up your red wine, that is perfectly acceptable. And I have sometimes done it, this is a white wine glass when someone serves me “whice” white wine which is as cold as ice and you then can’t taste anything. then if I want to warm it up then it’s perfectly acceptable.

By keeping it narrower, and keeping the bowl smaller you can concentrate the perfume and you can also keep it cooler. This would be perfect for your Sauvignon Blancs, your Rieslings. Anything citrusy, juicy perfumed something like this is great. However for your red wine, generally you want the surface area to be slightly rounder because red wine has got lots of layers which it needs to open up.

To really actually help along with the aeration process, do give it a swirl there is a reason why wine people swirl their glasses it’s not purely to be pretentious it actually does really help with the tasting process.

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