The MW Examination

General shot.pngThe Masters of Wine Examination was first held in 1953 and has been set every year since. It is designed to test the breadth and depth of a candidate's theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the art, science and business of wine. The standard of the exam remains as rigorous today as it was in 1953, when only six out of the 21 candidates passed. Each year the questions are set by a panel of MWs and marked by MWs and leading figures in the world of wine. 

Structure of the Exam

The exam consists of three parts: 

1)
 Theory - five three-hour question papers on viticulture, vinification and pre-bottling procedures, the handling of wine, the business of wine, and contemporary issues.


2)
 Practical - three 12-wine blind tastings, each lasting two and a quarter hours, in which wines must be assessed for variety, origin, winemaking, quality and style.  Practical papers must be written in English.


The Theory and Practical papers are examined concurrently over four  days, usually in June, in three centres: London (UK), Sydney (Australia) and Napa (USA).

The 2017 MW Examination Theory and Practical questions and wines can be found here:

2017 MW Examination questions and wines

The 2016 MW Examination Theory and Practical questions and wines can be found here:

2016 Theory and Practical MW Examination questions and wines


The 2015 MW Examination Theory and Practical questions and wines can be found here:

2015 Theory and Practical MW Examination questions and wines.pdf


The 2014 MW Examination Theory and Practical questions and wines can be found here:

2014 Theory and Practical MW Examination questions and wines


The 2013 MW Examination Theory and Practical questions and wines can be found here:

2013 Theory and Practical MW Examination questions and wines


3) The Research Paper - 
an individual project on a topic chosen by the candidate, resulting in a piece of work of between 6,000 and 10,000 words.

Only after successfully passing all three elements of the Exam is someone eligible for membership of the Institute. It is membership of the Institute and abiding by its Code of Conduct that confers the right to the qualification Master of Wine and use of the title, or its abbreviated form (MW) after their name. You can request copies of previous Research Papers here


For more detail on each of the three parts of the Examination, and how it is set and marked, please see the links to the left.

Applications for the MW Study Programme will open on 1 June 2018. 
 

Study Programme Prospectus (5MB)