Master Somm Invalidation

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Master Somm Invalidation

#1 Post by Colin Murphy » October 9th, 2018, 2:17 pm

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#2 Post by c fu » October 9th, 2018, 2:20 pm

NAPA, Calif. – The Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas unanimously voted to invalidate the results of the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Examination for all candidates due to clear evidence that a Master breached the confidentiality with respect to the wines presented for tasting.

“Maintaining the integrity of the examination process must be our highest priority, lest we risk diminishing the value of, and the respect earned from, becoming a Master Sommelier,” said Devon Broglie, MS, Chairman of the Board. “Our credential is known throughout the hospitality industry worldwide, and it guarantees that the holder of the Master Sommelier title is among the most qualified of all wine industry professionals. A compromised examination does not provide that guarantee."

The Board of Directors found sufficient evidence that the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Examination was compromised by the release of detailed information concerning wines in the tasting flight. The Board unanimously voted to fully void those results to protect the integrity of not only the examination process but also the reputation of the Court of Master Sommeliers and the title Master Sommelier.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#3 Post by Mattstolz » October 9th, 2018, 2:39 pm

uhhhh yikes.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#4 Post by Ross Massey » October 9th, 2018, 2:59 pm

Per reports on social media, the MS who leaked is going to be removed from the court
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Hmmmm...

#5 Post by TomHill » October 9th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Hmmmm....so when's the guy gonna be outed here on WB??
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#6 Post by c fu » October 9th, 2018, 3:09 pm

I read that an "abnormally" large amount passed this year, is that true?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#7 Post by J Kang » October 9th, 2018, 3:15 pm

This year 24 passed.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#8 Post by jbray23 » October 9th, 2018, 3:22 pm

So how many folks does this effect?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#9 Post by Lonnie F. » October 9th, 2018, 3:44 pm

Sounds like the sumo wrestlers in Freakanomics.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#10 Post by c fu » October 9th, 2018, 4:06 pm

jbray23 wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 3:22 pm
So how many folks does this effect?
everyone that passed the tasting portion, could be more than the 24
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#11 Post by larry schaffer » October 9th, 2018, 4:15 pm

I do hope this person is 'outed' - if only to the MS community. It truly sucks for all of those affected that did not have any 'advanced' information.

The real question - what info was shared and with whom?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#12 Post by jbray23 » October 9th, 2018, 5:09 pm

c fu wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 4:06 pm
jbray23 wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 3:22 pm
So how many folks does this effect?
everyone that passed the tasting portion, could be more than the 24

That’s why I was asking, too lazy to look up the exact number of people that had taken the tasting portion. I know 3 of the guys that were revoked, this sucks for them...
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#13 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm

jbray23 wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 5:09 pm
c fu wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 4:06 pm
jbray23 wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 3:22 pm
So how many folks does this effect?
everyone that passed the tasting portion, could be more than the 24

That’s why I was asking, too lazy to look up the exact number of people that had taken the tasting portion. I know 3 of the guys that were revoked, this sucks for them...

I know one of them and this was his last go for all of this. I can't imagine working as hard as many of them have only to have it be invalidated like this.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#14 Post by JLee » October 9th, 2018, 5:20 pm

This is really unfortunate for anyone who legitimately passed the test. That said, (and forgive me for stating the obvious) given the massively disproportionate number of candidates who passed this year, one can't help but suspect that many may have gone into the tasting portion with some sort of information advantage.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#15 Post by Nick Ellis » October 9th, 2018, 6:02 pm

I’ve always found the whole tasting portion of this exam to be opaque at best. I’m told that applicants never learn which wines they actually tasted, only whether they passed. There appears to be no predetermined number of attributes required to merit a passing grade, and the whole selection process is beyond arbitrary. Since there is no guarantee that the leaker didn’t leak info prior to earlier exams, ALL existing members should agree to be re-tested in a more transparent process with better controls.

I actually don’t give a damn, I just think this test is even dumber than a theoretical combination of the London Cabbie test, the (insert US state here) Bar Exam, and the Neuroscience boards.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#16 Post by GregT » October 9th, 2018, 7:56 pm

But if they said a wine was like a theoretical combination of a 73 Lafite, an 87 Dunn, and a bit of 95 Grange, they'd probably pass!

The real question - what info was shared and with whom?
I'm thinking someone may have been tipped off as to which were reds and which were whites, but that's just a guess. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#17 Post by Randy Bowman » October 9th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Not to disparage Master Somm's or their court, but 103 Master Somms in the USA? Who was the qualified Master Somm who created the Master Somm program and courses? After all the training and testing, who hires them? What does the diploma provide the successful Master Somm? I know dozens of Somms who work in restaurants and wineries but few get extra pay unless they are the wine buyer as well in restaurants. I haven't seen ads from WS, WA, nor WE seeking Master Somms as wine tasters/raters. Is there a "value" to being a Master Somm? Part of the Court? Is it like being a member of the Masons?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#18 Post by etomasi » October 9th, 2018, 8:57 pm

Sounds to me like a good plot for Somm 4.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#19 Post by Karl K » October 9th, 2018, 9:23 pm

Maybe the gig was up when a test taker got all the wines right without lifting them up from the table.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#20 Post by Karl K » October 9th, 2018, 9:32 pm

Also —- how did Jay do so well at Heritage, hmm?

Nailed the Pegau?

Suspicious

:)
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#21 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 9th, 2018, 10:00 pm

Randy Bowman wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 7:57 pm
Not to disparage Master Somm's or their court, but 103 Master Somms in the USA? Who was the qualified Master Somm who created the Master Somm program and courses? After all the training and testing, who hires them? What does the diploma provide the successful Master Somm? I know dozens of Somms who work in restaurants and wineries but few get extra pay unless they are the wine buyer as well in restaurants. I haven't seen ads from WS, WA, nor WE seeking Master Somms as wine tasters/raters. Is there a "value" to being a Master Somm? Part of the Court? Is it like being a member of the Masons?
From the SF Chronicle article:

"Passing the final test can mean a significant material difference in a somm’s life. An advanced sommelier in the U.S. earns an average salary of $87,000, while a master earns an average of $164,000, according to a 2017 GuildSomm survey."
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#22 Post by Gary York » October 9th, 2018, 10:02 pm

It was a sham/scam from the start.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#23 Post by ryancurry » October 9th, 2018, 10:06 pm

From the SF Chronicle article:

"Passing the final test can mean a significant material difference in a somm’s life. An advanced sommelier in the U.S. earns an average salary of $87,000, while a master earns an average of $164,000, according to a 2017 GuildSomm survey."
[/quote]


That must include people working in all segments of the wine world because there are very few floor somm's making 6 figures plus. Most MS' use the title to get out of the restaurant business and into something that offers better pay and better hours. The CMS has done a lot of good for the wine world, but at this point, I think it my be losing some of it's utility.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#24 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 9th, 2018, 10:33 pm

Ryan, I agree with you that many or most move on from the restaurant business and that is likely a major contributing factor to the average salary growth number above. Or if not from the restaurant business altogether, an MS is probably moving into a role of running wine programs for high profile restaurants or restaurant groups. Either way, they're likely not often working the floor at that point.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#25 Post by Matthew Hemming » October 10th, 2018, 2:12 am

I still have nightmares about having to re-take my MW exams. Can't imagine how it must feel not to have benefitted from the leaked info and to now have to face re-sits.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#26 Post by Ian Dorin » October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am

c fu wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 3:09 pm
I read that an "abnormally" large amount passed this year, is that true?
You know, it's funny you say that. I said the same thing, but not for one second did I think something nefarious was going on. I know a lot of the people that passed this year, and know that they would one day pass. It was a strong class, so it didn't really register.

Talk about piss poor timing. With Somm 3 coming out, this is only going to be anchored to it.
ryancurry wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:06 pm
That must include people working in all segments of the wine world because there are very few floor somm's making 6 figures plus. Most MS' use the title to get out of the restaurant business and into something that offers better pay and better hours. The CMS has done a lot of good for the wine world, but at this point, I think it my be losing some of it's utility.
Just take a look at the cast of Somm :)
They are all doing things other than restaurants. McClintic is making wine (or so it seems), Cauble and Wilson are in retail, and DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).

Last check, KJ employees some combo of 7 MS and MW (that may have changed), but that was a total I heard in the last year or two.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#27 Post by John Morris » October 10th, 2018, 7:47 am

ryancurry wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:06 pm
Matt Mauldin wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:00 pm
From the SF Chronicle article:
"Passing the final test can mean a significant material difference in a somm’s life. An advanced sommelier in the U.S. earns an average salary of $87,000, while a master earns an average of $164,000, according to a 2017 GuildSomm survey."
That must include people working in all segments of the wine world because there are very few floor somm's making 6 figures plus. Most MS' use the title to get out of the restaurant business and into something that offers better pay and better hours. The CMS has done a lot of good for the wine world, but at this point, I think it my be losing some of it's utility.
I would never give much credence to a salary survey conducted by a school or other institution with a vested interested in making it appear that its credential will vastly increase the earnings power of those who obtain it. It's like the employment stats at for-profit "colleges" and third-tier law schools.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#28 Post by K John Joseph » October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am

Ian Dorin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am
DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).
DLynn is solid. I first met him about 8 years ago or so in Dallas. I wont go long on the details of our first meeting, but it involved me obviously interrupting a blind/theory prep session he and other somms were partaking in at old-Grailey's. Instead of punting me, he poured a glass of Vega Sicilia Valbuena, took me on a little tour, shot the shit with me for a bit. Fast forward a year and he jumped my car for me in a parking lot. I got to pop some bottles for his blind theory prep before he took off to travel and deep prep for his first MS final exam. A very good taster and a great guy to have a drink with.

As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#29 Post by David Cooper » October 10th, 2018, 8:05 am

I live in a town that hasn't really been affected by the Somm virus. Any contact I have had with a real Somm has left my life unchanged. Although Instagram loves them.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#30 Post by John Morris » October 10th, 2018, 8:08 am

K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am
As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
You could tell them it's your keg-mobile and your wife is picking up DRC elsewhere in the Merc.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#31 Post by David Cooper » October 10th, 2018, 8:16 am

I believe they are trained to judge wine not automobile ownership.

I once left my push button start car with a valet in front of a huge restaurant without tossing him the keys. I guess he couldn't use the clutch and stalled it. When we came out it was surrounded by Maserattis and Bentleys. Poor little thing.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#32 Post by larry schaffer » October 10th, 2018, 8:39 am

Esther Mobley wrote a piece on this this morning. Apparently, one of the 24 had already passed the Tasting portion so he is allowed to keep his new pin - the other 23, not so lucky . . .

https://www.sfchronicle.com/wine/articl ... 294233.php
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#33 Post by Jonathan H » October 10th, 2018, 8:51 am

K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am
DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).
DLynn is solid. I first met him about 8 years ago or so in Dallas. I wont go long on the details of our first meeting, but it involved me obviously interrupting a blind/theory prep session he and other somms were partaking in at old-Grailey's. Instead of punting me, he poured a glass of Vega Sicilia Valbuena, took me on a little tour, shot the shit with me for a bit. Fast forward a year and he jumped my car for me in a parking lot. I got to pop some bottles for his blind theory prep before he took off to travel and deep prep for his first MS final exam. A very good taster and a great guy to have a drink with.

As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
I've met him once as well when he was still repping Penfold's. Seemed like a great guy who was obviously passionate about wine and also eager to educate. Did he end up passing all three levels of the MS?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#34 Post by Keith A k e r s » October 10th, 2018, 9:31 am

K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am


As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...

embarassing moment or cool anecdotal story? champagne.gif

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#35 Post by Ian Dorin » October 10th, 2018, 9:34 am

Jonathan H wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:51 am
K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am
DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).
DLynn is solid. I first met him about 8 years ago or so in Dallas. I wont go long on the details of our first meeting, but it involved me obviously interrupting a blind/theory prep session he and other somms were partaking in at old-Grailey's. Instead of punting me, he poured a glass of Vega Sicilia Valbuena, took me on a little tour, shot the shit with me for a bit. Fast forward a year and he jumped my car for me in a parking lot. I got to pop some bottles for his blind theory prep before he took off to travel and deep prep for his first MS final exam. A very good taster and a great guy to have a drink with.

As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
I've met him once as well when he was still repping Penfold's. Seemed like a great guy who was obviously passionate about wine and also eager to educate. Did he end up passing all three levels of the MS?
I believe it was a year after the movie?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#36 Post by Sean Malloy » October 10th, 2018, 9:39 am

Randy Bowman wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 7:57 pm
Not to disparage Master Somm's or their court, but 103 Master Somms in the USA? Who was the qualified Master Somm who created the Master Somm program and courses? After all the training and testing, who hires them? What does the diploma provide the successful Master Somm? I know dozens of Somms who work in restaurants and wineries but few get extra pay unless they are the wine buyer as well in restaurants. I haven't seen ads from WS, WA, nor WE seeking Master Somms as wine tasters/raters. Is there a "value" to being a Master Somm? Part of the Court? Is it like being a member of the Masons?
I think that part of the value of being a Master Somm is in induced demand. That is, once there is something, or more of something, there becomes demand for it. Now that we have Master Somms (and Masters of Wine for that matter), why wouldn't someone like United want to say that their wine selections on their flights is curated by an MS...or British Airways that their wines are chosen by an MW? Why wouldn't a big corporation want an MS or MW to host their execs and clients on a wine tasting trip? Why wouldn't a wine education company want to hire them to teach? And it's certainly easier for Ian Cauble to sell Somm Select wines than if he wasn't an MS (especially one featured in the movies).

By the way, I'm not saying anything negative here. These credentials are very difficult to get and many of the MS/MW groups are amazingly talented individuals well worthy of the opportunities they get/have earned. I just think that once there is a label recognized in some way by the industry and/or public, that will create additional demand for those with the label.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#37 Post by c fu » October 10th, 2018, 9:43 am

Sean Malloy wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:39 am
Randy Bowman wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 7:57 pm
Not to disparage Master Somm's or their court, but 103 Master Somms in the USA? Who was the qualified Master Somm who created the Master Somm program and courses? After all the training and testing, who hires them? What does the diploma provide the successful Master Somm? I know dozens of Somms who work in restaurants and wineries but few get extra pay unless they are the wine buyer as well in restaurants. I haven't seen ads from WS, WA, nor WE seeking Master Somms as wine tasters/raters. Is there a "value" to being a Master Somm? Part of the Court? Is it like being a member of the Masons?
I think that part of the value of being a Master Somm is in induced demand. That is, once there is something, or more of something, there becomes demand for it. Now that we have Master Somms (and Masters of Wine for that matter), why wouldn't someone like United want to say that their wine selections on their flights is curated by an MS...or British Airways that their wines are chosen by an MW? Why wouldn't a big corporation want an MS or MW to host their execs and clients on a wine tasting trip? Why wouldn't a wine education company want to hire them to teach? And it's certainly easier for Ian Cauble to sell Somm Select wines than if he wasn't an MS (especially one featured in the movies).

By the way, I'm not saying anything negative here. These credentials are very difficult to get and many of the MS/MW groups are amazingly talented individuals well worthy of the opportunities they get/have earned. I just think that once there is a label recognized in some way by the industry and/or public, that will create additional demand for those with the label.
Delta has a master somm organize their wine list, it's prominently displayed that it's done by her (Andrea Robinson) in biz/first class.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#38 Post by Dennis Borczon » October 10th, 2018, 9:44 am

Given the secrecy about the exam, I wonder what would possess someone to reveal the wines and allow cheating? Money? Trying to help a fav canidate? Agree this would be a good sub plot in Somm 3..

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#39 Post by Ian Dorin » October 10th, 2018, 10:24 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:44 am
Given the secrecy about the exam, I wonder what would possess someone to reveal the wines and allow cheating? Money? Trying to help a fav canidate? Agree this would be a good sub plot in Somm 3..
I've been thinking the same thing. Frankly, if someone tried to give me the answers, I wouldn't have hesitated and reported them.

Somm 3 is already out, you must mean 4..... [cheers.gif]
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#40 Post by K John Joseph » October 10th, 2018, 11:26 am

Jonathan H wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:51 am
K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am
DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).
DLynn is solid. I first met him about 8 years ago or so in Dallas. I wont go long on the details of our first meeting, but it involved me obviously interrupting a blind/theory prep session he and other somms were partaking in at old-Grailey's. Instead of punting me, he poured a glass of Vega Sicilia Valbuena, took me on a little tour, shot the shit with me for a bit. Fast forward a year and he jumped my car for me in a parking lot. I got to pop some bottles for his blind theory prep before he took off to travel and deep prep for his first MS final exam. A very good taster and a great guy to have a drink with.

As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
I've met him once as well when he was still repping Penfold's. Seemed like a great guy who was obviously passionate about wine and also eager to educate. Did he end up passing all three levels of the MS?
I do not believe so.
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Anton D
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#41 Post by Anton D » October 10th, 2018, 11:56 am

Gary York wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:02 pm
It was a sham/scam from the start.
I lean toward agreeing with you.

It's a bit like the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

champagne.gif
Last edited by Anton D on October 10th, 2018, 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#42 Post by John Morris » October 10th, 2018, 1:09 pm

If there's anyone in California who would be open to being interviewed by NPR on this topic, e-mail (best) or PM me. An old friend at NPR reached out to me looking for informed wine people -- wine lovers or ITB -- who could comment. I gather the story will run today, so she's looking for someone ASAP.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#43 Post by c fu » October 10th, 2018, 1:37 pm

John Morris wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 1:09 pm
If there's anyone in California who would be open to being interviewed by NPR on this topic, e-mail (best) or PM me. An old friend at NPR reached out to me looking for informed wine people -- wine lovers or ITB -- who could comment. I gather the story will run today, so she's looking for someone ASAP.
I wonder what relevant opinion non itb would have on this that won’t make them look like they are talking out of their butt.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#44 Post by Drew Goin » October 10th, 2018, 1:49 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 8:03 am
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 6:56 am
DLynn has be repping brands for awhile (previously Penfolds, now Fantesca).
DLynn is solid. I first met him about 8 years ago or so in Dallas. I wont go long on the details of our first meeting, but it involved me obviously interrupting a blind/theory prep session he and other somms were partaking in at old-Grailey's. Instead of punting me, he poured a glass of Vega Sicilia Valbuena, took me on a little tour, shot the shit with me for a bit. Fast forward a year and he jumped my car for me in a parking lot. I got to pop some bottles for his blind theory prep before he took off to travel and deep prep for his first MS final exam. A very good taster and a great guy to have a drink with.

As an aside, if you want an embarrassing moment have your beat up Explorer not start in a lot full of Mercedes and Porsches at a wine event and have to go in and ask the Somm to jump your car...
That's a great testament to this person's character! Thanks for sharing! :)

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#45 Post by John Morris » October 10th, 2018, 1:53 pm

c fu wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 1:37 pm
John Morris wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 1:09 pm
If there's anyone in California who would be open to being interviewed by NPR on this topic, e-mail (best) or PM me. An old friend at NPR reached out to me looking for informed wine people -- wine lovers or ITB -- who could comment. I gather the story will run today, so she's looking for someone ASAP.
I wonder what relevant opinion non itb would have on this that won’t make them look like they are talking out of their butt.
A fair question. ITB would be best, but occasionally some non-ITB WBer has something worthwhile to say. [wink.gif]

If I think the person offering to be interviewed is whistling anally, I can alert my friend to avoid any embarrassment to NPR.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#46 Post by K John Joseph » October 10th, 2018, 2:04 pm

Love it: John K@ne, known on the internet as K John Joseph, a wine enthusiast and Grand Cru Cru Berserker, was deeply disappointed to hear about the cheating scandal, noting that the leak was probably the result of "some old guy being drunk and altruistic" which, he added, "is not usually a bad thing."
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#47 Post by John Morris » October 10th, 2018, 2:21 pm

I'll pass that quote along. Not sure if that will win you air time, however.
"More fiction is written in Excel than Word." -- @troyvosseller

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#48 Post by john stimson » October 10th, 2018, 6:20 pm

Sad deal for those involved. If I have my facts correct, the character in Cork Dork, M. Harris, who grew up down the block from where we used to live, was one of the ones who "passed" this year.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#49 Post by Tim McCracken » October 10th, 2018, 6:50 pm

From a press release:

Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Board of Directors Establishes Parameters for Retests for Candidates Affected by Voided Exam

Following its decision to void the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommeliers Diploma Examination, the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas unanimously decided it would:

• Refund all fees collected for the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Exam;
• Hold two retesting opportunities, one before the end of this year and another during the spring or early summer of 2019. Candidates may choose either retest opportunity or may elect to take the retest during the regularly scheduled examination program in 2019;
• Waive the examination fee for the retest; and
• Offer appropriate travel cost assistance for the retest.

The Exam and Finance Committees are working on the specific site and logistical details. All 54 candidates who participated in the tasting portion of the exam will have the opportunity to take a retest.

“Yesterday was a tough day for everyone in the Court of Master Sommeliers, but especially for those who passed the voided tasting examination in September. There are no words I can say that will take away the disappointment and anger that our candidates are feeling today,” said Devon Broglie, MS, Chairman of the Board. “I can only imagine how hard it hit everyone to learn that something they worked so hard for was tainted by the actions of a single individual. We ask for patience as we work through the details of giving our candidates a choice of when and where they will take their retests.”

Earlier this week, the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas unanimously voted to invalidate the results of the tasting portion of the 2018 Master Sommelier Diploma Examination for all 54 candidates, including the 23 that passed the tasting and therefore earn the title of Master Sommelier, due to clear evidence that a Master breached the confidentiality with respect to the wines presented for tasting. The Board of Directors has barred the Master involved from participating in any Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas programs or events and has voted unanimously to initiate the process of terminating membership pursuant to the organization’s bylaws.

“This is a difficult but required process.” Broglie said. “The Board has consistently made decisions to reinforce the integrity of the examination process and uphold the reputation of the Court of Master Sommeliers and the honor of the Master Sommelier title. These decisions have been painful. They come with consequences that are difficult to swallow, but ultimately these decisions are in the best interest of the Court, its members and our industry.”

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#50 Post by Mark Y » October 10th, 2018, 9:18 pm

Do we not know who the culprit is yet? That has to be public info at some point since he or she is being kicked out of the court?

Wouldn’t there be law suits galore at some point? This feels like the beginning somehow.
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