Have you heard of a Master Sommelier? They are the highest of the high, most respected of all wine experts. To be frank, the requirements to become a Master Sommelier are quite insane. Some Sommelier applicants study for a lifetime, literally, to be able to start the three stages of testing.
- wine tasting
- practical serving of wine
- theoretical aspects of wine
Your three stages of testing can start after your 10 years of professional experience, that is.
While the Union of Sommeliers has been around since 1907, the Master Sommelier Diploma was created in 1969. Acquiring such a diploma is so time intensive and well-tested that just over 200 people have become Master Sommeliers by the end of 2015.
Master Sommelier applications immerse themselves in the wine community. If you get yourself in the company of sommeliers, you can learn a lot from them just by talking. Most of them are very open about everything they know.
For those interested in pursuing a Sommelier title, you can start by attending seminars or certificate courses. In most courses, you will learn the basic rudiments about wine and becoming a Sommelier.
Becoming a Sommelier isn’t all about book studies. You have some fun, too, including blind testing. Blind testing wine and being able to identify it based on taste alone is among the best skills that are required of a Master Sommelier. Because it is so important, there are some wine and Sommelier courses dedicated solely to wine tasting. Some people see it as a way to have fun with wine. However, it is skill and sensory tasting all rolled into one.
Blind tasting is something that Sommeliers develop. It is not something that is innate to anyone. One of the important aspects developed throughout blind tasting wines is the ability to identify the characteristics of the wine that is being sampled. Sommeliers learn to taste and smell the wine as it is. Labels and vintage will not influence your judgment. Everything is based on the taste and smell. How cool and crazy is that?