Day Two: What is a Master Sommelier?

Woke up this morning, said my prayers and checked the www.guildsomm.com website.  For those not familiar with the site, it’s an awesome tool for anyone in the wine industry to use to study, absorb or give wine information. I love it, and I think it’s one of the most valuable resources out there for any aspiring sommelier, master or otherwise.  The following are the questions posted today:

Where is Geographe?  Check.

What is the grape of Bairrada?  Check plus.

What two regions of Hungary can legally produce Bikaver?  Eger and do not remember…half credit.  Check the answers and it’s Eger and Szekszard.

Bored yet?  As I prepare oatmeal for Cynthia and open a container of Activa Peach Yogurt for Baby Stephen, I start daydreaming about service.  Will the decanting table be Barolo this year as opposed to the normal Bordeaux?  Am I going to bomb the wine list corrections like I did for the first time in my life this past exam?  Feelings of self-doubt overwhelm me.  Then I think back to last night right before I went to bed.  Stephen came up to the bedroom with a glass of wine.  I started smelling, it was funky…funky like oaked Sauvignon Blanc.  I smelled harder, I tasted, I gave my answer…Napa Sauvignon Blanc.

I was right.  Hallelujah!

Work came and went.  Picked up Cynthia from school. Came home to a clean house ala Marina.  Baby Stephen was glad to see me.  Our family went to eat sushi in Rocky Mount.  Drank Asahi.  Relaxed.

Just finished my blind tasting of the day.  Two whites.

First one I identified as Italian Pinot Grigio 2007….survey says Italian Pinot Grigio 2008.

Wine # 2–Inezsays Pinot Gris from Alsace….do not pass go, do not collect $200.  It’s Vouvray from the Loire Valley of France 2007

50% and so not good enough.

When I started the MS program in summer of 2000, blind tasting was what I did well.  Theory was my nemesis.  In October of 2001, when I sat for the Advanced for the first time, I passed tasting.  Failed service and theory, but passed tasting.

Sat again in Fall of 2003.  This time I passed tasting and service.  Failed theory.

Had 1st child in September of 2004.  Sat in NYC in 2005 for the third time.  Passed tasting and service.  Failed theory.

There are many who would ask why sit again.  Clearly, I wasn’t made for this exam.

Here’s the deal.  I was going to pass if it killed me.  If it took me 30 times, I was going to do this.

Went to Cincinnati in August of 2006.  Knew I passed theory…I knew I knew the answers.  Knew I passed service…felt great at the end of it.  Got to tasting on the last day and almost had an anxiety attack.  What was wrong with me?  I was sweating and completely not my confident self.

By the grace of God, mentor and friend, Virginia Philip, MS, took me aside when it was time for the winners to be revealed, and told me I had passed.  I had finally completed the advanced portion of the Master Sommelier exam.  Needless to say, I cried.

So, here I am, thinking about summer of 2006, wondering if tasting is going to be my downfall again.  I have to pass service and tasting.  Theory I passed this past summer.  Pray with me, bloggers.  I know I can do this.

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