About the Institute
The appeal of becoming a Master of Wine is that of joining the world’s best wine community.
That community, the Institute of Masters of Wine, has two simple membership requirements: applicants must have passed the Master of Wine Examination, and they must sign up to the Institute’s Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct requires that Masters of Wine behave at all times in an ethical manner, and that they work to make the wine trade one in which probity and honesty are paramount.
There are no other barriers to entry. The Institute of Masters of Wine actively seeks Members throughout the world, and it is not elitist. Neither does the Institute aim to restrict Membership. 396 men and women from 25 different countries have fulfilled the entry requirements and become Masters of Wine since the Examination was first set in 1953.
The Masters of Wine
Master of Wine (MW) is the most prestigious title in the world of wine. What started more than sixty years ago as a qualification for the UK wine trade is now held by a global family of 343 Masters of Wine. The Membership encompasses winemakers, buyers, shippers, business owners, retailers, academics, sommeliers, wine educators, writers, journalists and more.
Becoming a Master of Wine means entry into the world’s best wine community: one that brings deeply rewarding personal and professional opportunities, but also lifetime friendships with your fellow Members. It can mean constant travel and the bright lights of television studios, if that’s what you want. Alternatively, it could mean putting down roots as a winemaker and producing the finest expression of the particular piece of terroir that you’ve chosen.
Our Members produce award-winning wines, books, films, journalism, and television programmes.
Doors open to Masters of Wine. We are not just talking about the obvious advantage that the initials ‘MW’ give you in a job interview. Masters of Wine are also often asked to judge wine competitions all over the world; to lecture at wine courses; to lead tastings; to sample and assess some of the world's finest private cellars. Masters of Wine currently advise governments and heads of state worldwide, as well as hotels, airlines, and other institutions.
The Institute itself organises trips for Masters of Wine, which are generally hosted by trade bodies. Over the years groups of MWs have been treated to exceptional hospitality in most wine-producing regions of the world, with a level of VIP access that would be the envy of anyone with an interest in wine.
The Institute also runs a full events calendar, including the famous Symposium, which takes place every four years and was last held was held in Florence in 2014. Many of the world's most iconic producers have brought their wines to IMW events, in the knowledge that they will be presenting to an audience whose love and understanding of wine is unsurpassed.
However, being a Master of Wine isn't just about taking advantage of the opportunities that are on offer to Members of the Institute. It's about offering those opportunities to others.
About the Study Programme
Successful Masters of Wine have always given their time to help others through the Examination. Over the years, that help and guidance has evolved into the formal Study Programme, which aims to assist and advise students as they prepare themselves to take the Examination.
Every student in the Study Programme has a nominated Master of Wine as their personal mentor; someone they can turn to for advice. These mentor relationships frequently become friendships that last a lifetime, whether students go on to pass the Examination or not. Students can expect to learn from many more Masters of Wine, as well as leading figures in the global wine trade, at Study Programme residential seminars and course days.
Not everyone who joins the Study Programme goes on to pass the Master of Wine Examination; but anyone who has invested time in study for the Examination sees the benefits in terms of broadening their perspective, not only in terms of increased knowledge, but through the contacts they make with their peers in the global wine trade. Importantly, the Institute considers ex-students as part of our extended family.