Master Somm Invalidation

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Matt Mauldin
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#51 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 10th, 2018, 9:23 pm

John Morris wrote:
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.
GuildSomm, who did the survey, is a separate organization than CMS (although they do share some members). Either way, as an educated observer working in the wine business, it's pretty clear to me that being awarded an MS and MW creates an opportunity for a major boost in one's wine industry career.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#52 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 11th, 2018, 5:27 am

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#53 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » October 11th, 2018, 6:02 am

Interesting, I guess the only MS that didn’t get his diploma revoked was the main character in that cork dork book; he only needed to pass service this year

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#54 Post by Ian Dorin » October 11th, 2018, 6:47 am

Mark Y wrote:
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.
I was speaking with someone yesterday about this. More to the point, rampant speculation has begun, and it's only going to besmirch them all. As the saying goes, one bad apple.....
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#55 Post by aaronfullen » October 11th, 2018, 7:22 am

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.
[/quote]

Which, given what Delta pours in Delta One internationally, makes Andrea look like a Philistine. Their wines up front are plonk, plonker and plonkiest.

I love me some Delta, but the wines up front are headache juice.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#56 Post by David Cooper » October 11th, 2018, 7:27 am

She is the Guy Fieri of Sommeliers.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#57 Post by Nick Ryan » October 11th, 2018, 10:05 am

Sorry, I can't help but see the Court's response to this as cold-blooded and borderline unconscionable. These people have spend untold time and money to pass this test, working jobs that give you precious little of either. After passing I'm sure many immediately began to upend their lives, perhaps quitting jobs, even getting new ones already, planning moves, etc. Aside from the quantifiable cost of forcing them to undo these actions or put them on hold, there is the mental torture that undoubtedly many of them are going through. If it was Theory that had to be re-taken that would be one thing, but given the inherent subjective elements of blind testing I'm betting that not even the best of these candidates can be extremely confident of passing Tasting again.

I understand the desire to uphold the reputation and sanctity of the certification. But of these 23 who passed Tasting for the first time, are any manifestly unqualified? They already passed Theory and Practical. Absent hard evidence of exactly which, if any, of the students had cheated, a better course of action would be to do some digging and see if any of the students were obviously unprepared for Tasting... perhaps by asking instructors, fellow students, and so on. And only having those few, if any, retake Tasting.

TLDR: Having your organization look like it's run by a bunch of inconsiderate asses is going to do more harm to its reputation than, at worst, letting a handful of students through who might have been slightly under the bar because one of your own #$*()$#-ed up.
Last edited by Nick Ryan on October 16th, 2018, 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#58 Post by Ian Dorin » October 11th, 2018, 11:10 am

Nick Ryan wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 10:05 am
Sorry, I can't help but the Court's response to this as cold-blooded and borderline unconscionable. These people have spend untold time and money to pass this test, working jobs that give you precious little of either. After passing I'm sure many immediately began to upend their lives, perhaps quitting jobs, even getting new ones already, planning moves, etc. Aside from the quantifiable cost of forcing them to undo these actions or put them on hold, there is the mental torture that undoubtedly many of them are going through. If it was Theory that had to be re-taken that would be one thing, but given the inherent subjective elements of blind testing I'm betting that not even the best of these candidates can be extremely confident of passing Tasting again.

I understand the desire to uphold the reputation and sanctity of the certification. But of these 23 who passed Tasting for the first time, are any manifestly unqualified? They already passed Theory and Practical. Absent hard evidence of exactly which, if any, of the students had cheated, a better course of action would be to do some digging and see if any of the students were obviously unprepared for Testing... perhaps by asking instructors, fellow students, and so on. And only having those few, if any, retake Tasting.

TLDR: Having your organization look like it's run by a bunch of inconsiderate asses is going to do more harm to its reputation than, at worst, letting a handful of students through who might have been slightly under the bar because one of your own #$*()$#-ed up.
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.

[scratch.gif]

I think this is pretty fair, no?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#59 Post by Nick Ryan » October 11th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
I think this is pretty fair, no?
No, for all the reasons I outlined above. A fair outcome would be to force a re-test only for those students who appeared to pass "anomalously". Clearly they don't have hard evidence of any students cheating, or they would have been named, shamed, and banned. Instead they could try to figure out who might have cheated based on prior preparation, experiences with instructors, and so on, but that would require actual work.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#60 Post by Phil Smith » October 11th, 2018, 12:13 pm

Nick Ryan wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 10:05 am
Sorry, I can't help but the Court's response to this as cold-blooded and borderline unconscionable. These people have spend untold time and money to pass this test, working jobs that give you precious little of either. After passing I'm sure many immediately began to upend their lives, perhaps quitting jobs, even getting new ones already, planning moves, etc. Aside from the quantifiable cost of forcing them to undo these actions or put them on hold, there is the mental torture that undoubtedly many of them are going through. If it was Theory that had to be re-taken that would be one thing, but given the inherent subjective elements of blind testing I'm betting that not even the best of these candidates can be extremely confident of passing Tasting again.

I understand the desire to uphold the reputation and sanctity of the certification. But of these 23 who passed Tasting for the first time, are any manifestly unqualified? They already passed Theory and Practical. Absent hard evidence of exactly which, if any, of the students had cheated, a better course of action would be to do some digging and see if any of the students were obviously unprepared for Testing... perhaps by asking instructors, fellow students, and so on. And only having those few, if any, retake Tasting.

TLDR: Having your organization look like it's run by a bunch of inconsiderate asses is going to do more harm to its reputation than, at worst, letting a handful of students through who might have been slightly under the bar because one of your own #$*()$#-ed up.
+1. A waived exam fee and some help getting them back to where they were on travel (without even considering lost wages or any individual factors/decisions that may have occurred in the month+ since their mistake)? The organization is being silly and way too precious at the expense of its candidates' money and reputations.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#61 Post by ky1em!ttskus » October 11th, 2018, 12:17 pm

If they can't prove who was given information and who wasn't, what other choice do they have other than to void the entire test?

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#62 Post by A.Altman » October 11th, 2018, 12:29 pm

I would imagine most all of these folks are currently employed at least in some degree, if not entirely, because of their certification. The revocation absolutely implies to candidates employers that very likely could have cheated the most difficult part of the exam. So employers COULD rightfully suspect and react to employing a potential cheater, even if the candidate took the exam fairly. Crazy stuff, with terrible implications for everyone involved.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#63 Post by John J » October 11th, 2018, 12:49 pm

About a decade ago, one of the specialty physician certifying exams were compromised by a test prep company. After taking the exam, physicians funneled back questions to the instructors running the program. The company was sued and the physicians found providing questions were punished severely. I think the physicians were banned from further certification and were also reported to their state boards. The ones that took the course were sent a letter of reprimand.

As expected, there was ALOT of litigation. Even some of the ones (including the testing company) who got their hand ‘caught in cookie jar’ sued. I hope the Court had good counsel before they made this decision, because this is not going to be over anytime soon.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#64 Post by Phil Smith » October 11th, 2018, 12:58 pm

ky1em!ttskus wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:17 pm
If they can't prove who was given information and who wasn't, what other choice do they have other than to void the entire test?
If they don't have specific information then they shouldn't have started this mess in the first place, but presumably they have something solid or they wouldn't be moving to kick one of their members out. Assuming they do, they should handle it with some of the steps that any organization should use to handle a PR mess, including but not limited to:

1. Own the mistake. They sort of did this, but then screwed up the messaging. The result is that every public article that's out there casts doubt over the entire class. Why? Because their primary goal wasn't for the candidates but was to keep anything getting out that could "needlessly impact the Court's reputation"... that's from the internal email that went out asking for confidentiality prior to the public release. Apparently the "Court's reputation" comes at a high premium to the reputations of the candidates. A lot more people passed, but a lot took the test as well (i.e., is this pass rate or are individual scores abnormally high? How is it distributed?). Look for anomalies following from the specific information which you should be acting on. Question individuals. If they've done this then make the process transparent because right now it's not. That's certainly true for anyone outside of the organization (including the candidates' employers, for instance), but from what I'm seeing it's not very transparent to the candidates either. At a minimum explain enough about the evidence to get out ahead of the stories (and their one-size-fits-all remedy) that cast doubt on everyone.
2. Fix your process. Firing someone may be necessary but probably isn't sufficient. The opacity and accusations of arbitrariness have surrounded the tasting portion of that exam since the dawn of time.
3. Make good with the people that your process and your people screwed. $1000 fee doesn't cut it. Given the variance expected in tasting exams, a lot of these people may well not pass the next one.
Last edited by Phil Smith on October 11th, 2018, 4:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#65 Post by Ian Dorin » October 11th, 2018, 1:22 pm

Nick Ryan wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:04 pm
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
I think this is pretty fair, no?
No, for all the reasons I outlined above. A fair outcome would be to force a re-test only for those students who appeared to pass "anomalously". Clearly they don't have hard evidence of any students cheating, or they would have been named, shamed, and banned. Instead they could try to figure out who might have cheated based on prior preparation, experiences with instructors, and so on, but that would require actual work.
Note this from the press release at the end of page 1.

"due to clear evidence that a Master breached the confidentiality with respect to the wines presented for tasting"

I'm not sure where your take away of "Clearly they don't have any hard evidence" is coming from, but the CMS would seem to strongly disagree with you there. They seem to have found multiple "somethings" (again, treading lightly on how I label this) that said something was wrong. Keep in mind, it's 54 people that they scrubbed their tasting results for, not 23.

I think we all need to wait for the closure on this from the CMS. There is so much speculation going on, and it's really not fair. It's one bad apple.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#66 Post by c fu » October 11th, 2018, 1:54 pm

Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 1:22 pm
Nick Ryan wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:04 pm
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
I think this is pretty fair, no?
No, for all the reasons I outlined above. A fair outcome would be to force a re-test only for those students who appeared to pass "anomalously". Clearly they don't have hard evidence of any students cheating, or they would have been named, shamed, and banned. Instead they could try to figure out who might have cheated based on prior preparation, experiences with instructors, and so on, but that would require actual work.
Note this from the press release at the end of page 1.

"due to clear evidence that a Master breached the confidentiality with respect to the wines presented for tasting"

I'm not sure where your take away of "Clearly they don't have any hard evidence" is coming from, but the CMS would seem to strongly disagree with you there. They seem to have found multiple "somethings" (again, treading lightly on how I label this) that said something was wrong. Keep in mind, it's 54 people that they scrubbed their tasting results for, not 23.

I think we all need to wait for the closure on this from the CMS. There is so much speculation going on, and it's really not fair. It's one bad apple.
The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#67 Post by Chr!s G|@rn3r » October 11th, 2018, 2:10 pm

The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
Also possibly because the judging is subjective and a taker that did well may have been failed because their performance didn’t seem so great compared to those that cheated and did perfect.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#68 Post by Ian Dorin » October 11th, 2018, 2:14 pm

c fu wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 1:54 pm
The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
Like I said, if it was me, I would have reported it on the spot. If I took the test, didn't get the help, and I was asked to retake as you noted here, I would be PISSED. I would have called my attorney and filed a suit.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#69 Post by Phil Smith » October 11th, 2018, 2:25 pm

I’ve been surprised before but expect a good portion of “the Court’s” weekend was spent figuring out their liability. And even if there were grounds for legal action, it’s a pretty small organization where, presumably, one of the primary benefits is that atmosphere and your colleagues, rather than a place like the medical board mentioned above where you might be able to sort of blend away after the fact. Assuming you still want to be a member, I can’t imagine a lawsuit would ingratiate you with your new peers.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#70 Post by Alan Rath » October 11th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Jon Johnson wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:49 pm
About a decade ago, one of the specialty physician certifying exams were compromised by a test prep company. After taking the exam, physicians funneled back questions to the instructors running the program. The company was sued and the physicians found providing questions were punished severely. I think the physicians were banned from further certification and were also reported to their state boards. The ones that took the course were sent a letter of reprimand.

As expected, there was ALOT of litigation. Even some of the ones (including the testing company) who got their hand ‘caught in cookie jar’ sued. I hope the Court had good counsel before they made this decision, because this is not going to be over anytime soon.
Two very different cases, though. Physicians deal with life and death issues, the worst a somm can do is choose the wrong wine to match your dinner [wow.gif]

Actually, I think this opens avenues to make the testing even better in the future: send out disinformation on what wines are being served, and see which dumbos try to use those wines as answers.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#71 Post by Mark Y » October 11th, 2018, 3:22 pm

Nick Ryan wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:04 pm
Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
I think this is pretty fair, no?
No, for all the reasons I outlined above. A fair outcome would be to force a re-test only for those students who appeared to pass "anomalously". Clearly they don't have hard evidence of any students cheating, or they would have been named, shamed, and banned. Instead they could try to figure out who might have cheated based on prior preparation, experiences with instructors, and so on, but that would require actual work.
I agree.. if they can prove someone cheated, they should ban that person.. otherwise you can't ban a whole class.. Also as mentioned already, most of these are well qualified already.. they passed 2 parts of the exam already not joe schmoe off the street.
Might 15 pass? 12? 18? so we're talking a few incremental people? this is way way wayyyy worse. this isn't the same as a medical license.. no life/death situations.

they should tighten up their controls to prevent this going forward, but pulling it from everyone is brutal and wrong.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#72 Post by Ian H » October 11th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 6:02 am
Interesting, I guess the only MS that didn’t get his diploma revoked was the main character in that cork dork book; he only needed to pass service this year
He was also featured prominently in the Esquire series "Uncorked" which was great and one I'd recommend if anybody liked Somm. I downloaded it off of Amazon. Like 6 episodes of people training in the build up to the master exam
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#73 Post by c fu » October 11th, 2018, 5:19 pm

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2018/10 ... sommeliers

Person named but not confirmed. San Diego based. Had four students he “taught”
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#74 Post by Carter Y. » October 11th, 2018, 5:24 pm

Can't find Reggie Narito's profile on the CMS website anymore...
http://www.courtofmastersommeliers.org/members
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#75 Post by David Cooper » October 11th, 2018, 6:02 pm

Error 404.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#76 Post by John J » October 11th, 2018, 7:00 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:51 pm
Jon Johnson wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:49 pm
About a decade ago, one of the specialty physician certifying exams were compromised by a test prep company. After taking the exam, physicians funneled back questions to the instructors running the program. The company was sued and the physicians found providing questions were punished severely. I think the physicians were banned from further certification and were also reported to their state boards. The ones that took the course were sent a letter of reprimand.

As expected, there was ALOT of litigation. Even some of the ones (including the testing company) who got their hand ‘caught in cookie jar’ sued. I hope the Court had good counsel before they made this decision, because this is not going to be over anytime soon.
Two very different cases, though. Physicians deal with life and death issues, the worst a somm can do is choose the wrong wine to match your dinner [wow.gif]



Actually, I think this opens avenues to make the testing even better in the future: send out disinformation on what wines are being served, and see which dumbos try to use those wines as answers.
My point being they didn’t make every physician retake the test and the alleged cheaters had the cajones to sue.

If a ‘life and death’ profession didn’t invalidate a clearly compromised test and the proven cheaters still sued, I imagine these newly minted Master Somms are already ‘lawyered Up’

Mark my words, this will be a an even bigger mess.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#77 Post by Greg K » October 11th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Ian Dorin wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:14 pm
c fu wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 1:54 pm
The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
Like I said, if it was me, I would have reported it on the spot.
We'd all like to think we would. If we'd spent 5 years studying for a test, I can't say that for certain.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#78 Post by T. Altmayer » October 11th, 2018, 8:38 pm

c fu wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 5:19 pm
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2018/10 ... sommeliers

Person named but not confirmed. San Diego based. Had four students he “taught”
After I Googled the picture, I remember him from Somm
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#79 Post by J.Vizuete » October 11th, 2018, 8:52 pm

Will all 54 get a chance at the re-do? Or only the ones that passed?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#80 Post by Kris Patten » October 11th, 2018, 9:17 pm

Wow, I know 4 of the people who got invalidated for their MS....heartbreaking as many had been at it for a long time and have to go thru tasting again and all are passionate, driven and dedicated. Truly sad.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#81 Post by ryancurry » October 11th, 2018, 9:55 pm

Matt Mauldin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:23 pm
John Morris wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 7:47 am
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.
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.
GuildSomm, who did the survey, is a separate organization than CMS (although they do share some members). Either way, as an educated observer working in the wine business, it's pretty clear to me that being awarded an MS and MW creates an opportunity for a major boost in one's wine industry career.

My comment was regarding the wine world rather than the sommeliers themselves. Becoming an MS certainly gives a big boost to the individuals career. The majority of them use it as a platform to do something other than working as a sommelier. It is a shame that there isn't more money in working the floor. The CMS is a serviced based organization, yet the vast majority of people that reach the MS level no longer serve wine.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#82 Post by Wes Barton » October 11th, 2018, 11:50 pm

Chr!s G|@rn3r wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:10 pm
The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
Also possibly because the judging is subjective and a taker that did well may have been failed because their performance didn’t seem so great compared to those that cheated and did perfect.
Exactly. They're giving the same amends to those who failed as those who passed. That implies there's a degree of subjective relativity to judging the results. Likely, even a higher number did well, so they deemed it unusually easy and failed people on that basis, when in retrospect, without cheating of others, they may have passed.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#83 Post by edwardmilstein » October 12th, 2018, 2:21 am

Seems like a perfectly good use of voluntary lie detector tests
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#84 Post by Ian Dorin » October 12th, 2018, 6:30 am

J.Vizuete wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 8:52 pm
Will all 54 get a chance at the re-do? Or only the ones that passed?
54 passed the tasting portion, if I'm reading that correctly. 53 will have the chance to retake it. It's a 3 part exam, so about 30 people failed other parts of it.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#85 Post by Ian Dorin » October 12th, 2018, 6:33 am

Wes Barton wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 11:50 pm
Chr!s G|@rn3r wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:10 pm
The only reason I'd think they want everyone to redo it is they suspected a a large number of the takers were in on the info.
Also possibly because the judging is subjective and a taker that did well may have been failed because their performance didn’t seem so great compared to those that cheated and did perfect.
Exactly. They're giving the same amends to those who failed as those who passed. That implies there's a degree of subjective relativity to judging the results. Likely, even a higher number did well, so they deemed it unusually easy and failed people on that basis, when in retrospect, without cheating of others, they may have passed.
There is and there isn't. If you get the right dead to rights it counts quite a bit more than having a "strong train of thought". My feeling is that there was a bit of a curveball wine (like a Fiano di Avellino) and the group answers didn't deviate as much as they would have expected. Wines like that in blind tastings (especially a high stress environment) generate all kinds of answers.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#86 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 12th, 2018, 6:37 am

In 1985, someone stole boxes filled with exam booklets for the NY State Bar Exam from a pier in Manhattan. (There were a number of rationales offered at the time for why someone would want to do such a thing, but none made any sense). Everyone who had their exam booklets stolen had to retake the exam.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#87 Post by CJ Beazley » October 12th, 2018, 6:54 am

I wonder if those that knew the wines prior to taking the test were dumb enough to go in there and nail every glass or try and get close enough to pass?
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#88 Post by David Cooper » October 12th, 2018, 7:14 am

Now that they know who gave the information, do they know who received it directly? They should be eliminated. I think.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#89 Post by Carter Y. » October 12th, 2018, 9:11 am

David Cooper wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 7:14 am
Now that they know who gave the information, do they know who received it directly? They should be eliminated. I think.
That would depend on how the information is given, no?
We have little information on what was actually leaked out, but if all the leaker said was "you should go buy these wines and be familiar with them", I don't think the students should bear much responsibility.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#90 Post by Ian Dorin » October 12th, 2018, 9:13 am

Carter Y. wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 9:11 am
David Cooper wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 7:14 am
Now that they know who gave the information, do they know who received it directly? They should be eliminated. I think.
That would depend on how the information is given, no?
We have little information on what was actually leaked out, but if all the leaker said was "you should go buy these wines and be familiar with them", I don't think the students should bear much responsibility.
Please disregard what I had posted. It turns out it was bad info I was given. Need to set the record straight.
Last edited by Ian Dorin on October 12th, 2018, 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#91 Post by C. Mc Cart » October 12th, 2018, 9:23 am

During the exam? That doesn't sound right, but does sound stupid. There would be another MS proctor in the exam and would be the witness to whom gave and received the "leak".

If it was at anytime before any individual's exam (up to the last to go in), then there's no way to know who told who what. From what I recall they take it individually one at a time, one after another. In theory info could be passed along as each leaves the room.
Not suggesting that happened.
I've met the Ottawa based somm that did pass from this group. Nice guy at a very interesting small resto. Shared a few wines with him last time we were there.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#92 Post by Ian Dorin » October 12th, 2018, 11:38 am

C. Mc Cart wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 9:23 am
During the exam? That doesn't sound right, but does sound stupid. There would be another MS proctor in the exam and would be the witness to whom gave and received the "leak".
I edited my previous post, info was not correct.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#93 Post by Doug Schulman » October 12th, 2018, 11:56 am

ky1em!ttskus wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 12:17 pm
If they can't prove who was given information and who wasn't, what other choice do they have other than to void the entire test?
They should magically know! How stupid of them not to!
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#94 Post by ChrisU » October 12th, 2018, 5:14 pm

why let the people that failed re-test? Either they legitimately failed, or they knew which wines were in the set and still missed.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#95 Post by Chr!s G|@rn3r » October 12th, 2018, 5:53 pm

ChrisU wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 5:14 pm
why let the people that failed re-test? Either they legitimately failed, or they knew which wines were in the set and still missed.
Chr!s G|@rn3r wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 2:10 pm
Also possibly because the judging is subjective and a taker that did well may have been failed because their performance didn’t seem so great compared to those that cheated and did perfect.

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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#96 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 12th, 2018, 8:12 pm

ryancurry wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 9:55 pm
Matt Mauldin wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:23 pm
John Morris wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 7:47 am


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.
GuildSomm, who did the survey, is a separate organization than CMS (although they do share some members). Either way, as an educated observer working in the wine business, it's pretty clear to me that being awarded an MS and MW creates an opportunity for a major boost in one's wine industry career.

My comment was regarding the wine world rather than the sommeliers themselves. Becoming an MS certainly gives a big boost to the individuals career. The majority of them use it as a platform to do something other than working as a sommelier. It is a shame that there isn't more money in working the floor. The CMS is a serviced based organization, yet the vast majority of people that reach the MS level no longer serve wine.
Ryan, I agree 100%. My last comment (and original comment for that matter) was just making the point that it was indeed a career boost as the question had been posed in an earlier post.

My background in the business came from retail before going to the distribution side and later supplier. So those coming from the CMS courses over to the sales side of the business I would perceive from a sales perspective, but your perspective on service is well-taken.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#97 Post by Kris Patten » October 12th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Most go into education or running larger restaurant group programs or being an educator/sales consultant for wineries or suppliers.

The invalidation is a huge deal as this is the culmination of years of work and tasting is the hardest of the three to pass, theory you know or you don't, and service you do for a living, tasting is so subjective due to time, day, location, a multitude of factors that it is very difficult to have an "on" tasting day.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#98 Post by Matt Mauldin » October 12th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
October 12th, 2018, 8:17 pm
Most go into education or running larger restaurant group programs or being an educator/sales consultant for wineries or suppliers.

The invalidation is a huge deal as this is the culmination of years of work and tasting is the hardest of the three to pass, theory you know or you don't, and service you do for a living, tasting is so subjective due to time, day, location, a multitude of factors that it is very difficult to have an "on" tasting day.
Totally, it's devastating. I feel for the people innocently swept up in this.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#99 Post by Kris Patten » October 12th, 2018, 8:41 pm

As I posted earlier Matt, 4 of those awarded the pin are friends or colleagues in Seattle or from Seattle.

Heartbroken for them.
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Re: Master Somm Invalidation

#100 Post by edward bowers » October 13th, 2018, 7:34 am

Even if he is barred. He will still have the qualifications.

Maybe like a lawyer practicing without a license

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