As you all know I am diligently studying to take the Certified Sommelier exam sometime in 2017. The exam itself is quite rigorous; it covers theory of every wine growing region in the world (don’t think that narrows anything down because every country in the world grows wine), service which entails a mock dinner service with Master Sommeliers watching your every move as you present/open/pour a bottle of wine while quizzing you at the same time, and then a blind tasting of two white wines and two red wines. By blind I don’t mean that you are blind folded but rather you do not know anything about the wines and you have to go through the grid (cert-tasting-grid-red, cert-tasting-grid-white) and make an educated decision on what country the wine came from and preferably what sub region within that country, name the grape or blend of grapes you think the wine is made of, how old the wine is, what type of climate the grapes were grown in and then give a two sentence sales pitch as if you were trying to sell it to a table!
They (the Court of Master Sommeliers) have been posting dates for 2017 quite frequently but nothing has popped up for Denver yet until last night when I randomly checked the Master Sommelier website and saw that they finally posted dates for the Certified exam in Denver! The exam will be held on July 14th, 2017 at the Metro State University campus just a few blocks from my apartment. I am sure you can imagine how excited I was. The only issue is that I don’t have the six hundred dollars already set aside for the exam so I cannot sign up yet…hopefully I will be able to afford it before the exam fills up otherwise I will have to travel out of state and that is just more money yet. Either way, I will be taking the exam in 2017, no if’s and’s or but’s about it!
In order to make sure I stay on track with my studies I laid out exactly what I need to do between now and then so I am sure to reach my goal, check it out:
Theory – In addition to all the other areas I’ve already studied, these are the one I still need to cover before I am ready for the exam (this is how much time I will dedicate to each region): Germany (3 weeks), Italy (6 weeks), Australia (2 weeks), Austria (2 weeks), New Zealand (2 weeks), Switzerland (1 week), Greece & Eastern Europe (1 week), United States (2 weeks), last but not least will be Liquor/Beer (1 week). In addition to studying these new areas I will also be reviewing all other regions simultaneously as to keep all information fresh in my mind. As of right now I am committing a minimum of one hour daily to theory and review until I take the exam.
Service – I will continue to practice at work as often as possible in addition to reaching out to a couple of people I know that will help me as I get closer to taking the exam. Service is important but it is something that doesn’t take as much time to learn like theory and blind tasting (for me anyway). My only issue with service is that both of my thumbs are double jointed so I cannot hold the bottle properly for Champagne service so I might have to get creative with a brace or something. I will worry about that a little further down the line though.
Blind Tasting – I have two wonderful people in the industry who are willing to meet with me twice monthly and work through the grids on a one-on-one basis which is huge! One of them works the Certified grid with me while the other works the Advanced grid with me in hopes that I will feel over prepared at the exam. In addition to that I will continue to buy testable bottles of wine and taste/make notes at home so I have a good understanding of what these wines taste like and what their markers are. I will also try to pair them appropriately with what Jake and I are cooking each week so I have personal references to fall back on when it comes time for the exam.
I promise to keep you updated on everything that I am doing to prepare and how it feels to get ready for such a big exam! And maybe I will inspire some of you to do the same along the way…
Last but not least I have to give a shout out to my wonderful husband, Jake, who is willing to take this journey with me! He is nothing but supportive and understanding of the time and monetary commitment this is for us and he doesn’t mind one bit. I could not do this without you; I love you to the moon and back, XOXO.
I would just like to say thank you for following me on my journey to become a Master Sommelier, it means so much to have your support. Please be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up to date on all of my latest adventures!