1 November 2018

California MW TripThe 47 Masters of Wine on the recent California trip
Hosted by the California Wine Institute

  MW study programme

Education and Examination Board MW syllabus review: message to Members from Jean Michel-Valette MW, Chair EEB

EEBBy its remit, the IMW’s EEB is tasked to review our examination syllabus on a periodic basis. This year we are choosing to do a deeper review. As part of that effort, we would welcome Member input on any or all of our syllabus with particular emphasis on the areas of mastery which you - in your diverse professional capacities - view as most relevant to the IMW's mission of promoting excellence, interaction and learning in the global wine community.

To facilitate your input, please follow this link to see a copy of our current syllabus (pages 50 to 59 of the 2018-19 Student Guide). You will see the closed book exam has two parts – theory and practical. After reviewing, please provide your input on the following questions using this form by November 15, 2018:

  • Which elements of the current syllabus are most relevant to achieving ‘mastery’ which is most relevant to our mission?
  • Which elements should be added?
  • Which elements should be deleted?

Feel free to focus on any part of relevance to you. We are not expecting full reviews from everyone, rather input on those areas of most importance to you. We will be soliciting similar input from our Supporters, industry leaders and educators across geographic and professional segments of the wine community. Thank you in advance for helping us advance the professional relevance of our exam and, through it, our membership and our education efforts. Jean-Michel Valette MW, Chair EEB 

Information session - 13 November 2018, Shanghai, Prowein China

Information sessionsEvery year and around the world the IMW holds introductory courses and hour long information sessions to raise awareness of the MW study programme and to provide information to prospective students. Information sessions provide an overview of the study programme and an opportunity for potential students to ask questions to the IMW team and Masters of Wine. The next session will be at Prowein China, led by Rob Geddes MWNeil Tully MW and Fongyee Walker MW. Please do encourage any potential students you may know in the area to come along. Further details and how to book can be found here 

Court of Master Sommelier

Court of MSThe US-based chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas (CMSA), announced a few weeks ago that its board had unanimously voted to invalidate the results of their tasting exam after evidence emerged that one of the Masters involved in the procedure had leaked information of which wines were to be included in the tasting flight to a candidate. This meant that 23 people have had their recent tasting exams nullified. Their newly minted MS titles are effectively suspended until they take the tasting exam again. It is a sad time for the Court, and for the students affected, and we have no wish to comment on their troubles. But we would like to assure MWs and students that our processes are different, and while we can’t legislate for a rogue Member, we do have a series of checks and balances in place. The MW exam is run in a different way to that of the Court of MS, we do have a much larger team of practical examiners than the MS, most of whom only know the make-up of one paper, not three. And while we have no reason to believe any examiner would behave in this manner, there are only a couple of senior MWs who know all 36 wines, and they have proven their integrity and rectitude in years leading up to their roles. We also ask examiners to sign – annually – a pledge which shows they understand and recognise their roles and responsibilities as examiners.

The MW exam expects people not merely to identify wine, but to rate it against others in a flight, and also to comment on winemaking and other factors. Nowadays straight forward identification accounts for few marks, so even if candidates were aware of the wines in advance, that would be the start of the answer, not the complete one. Added to all of this is the moderation system, which means there are yet more checks and balances, if necessary.

Upcoming events

Cru Beaujolais seminar

Location: Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder, 2601 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder, Colorado
Date: 2 November 2018
Time: 1100 – 1230
Price: $85 per person
Find out more and book tickets

Annual Claret tasting (2014 vintage)

Location: Vintners' Hall, 68 Upper Thames St, London
Date: 6 November 2018
Price: MWs £45, MW students £50, general admission £85
Find out more and book tickets - fewer than 20 places remaining!

Annual awards ceremony (Members only)

Location: Vintners' Hall, 68 Upper Thames St, London
Date: 6 November 2018
Time: 1730 - 2100
This event is now at full capacity for seating, you can be added to the list if you would like to attend, but are not guaranteed a seat for the ceremony. Please email Belinda Eaton

The fine wines of New Zealand - an exploration of the greatest New Zealand Chardonnay and Pinot

Location: IMW, 6 Riverlight Quay, London
Date: 3 December 2018
Time: 1500 – 1700
The event is now sold out - follow this link to be added to the waiting list

Gold medal winning UK Sparkling wine tasting

Location: IMW, 6 Riverlight Quay, London
Date: 4 December 2018
Time: 1030 – 1230
Find out more and book tickets

AWRI series: Evaluation of winemaking treatments in Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 

Location: IMW, 6 Riverlight Quay, London
18 January 2019
1000 - 1400
Find out more and book tickets

Hunter Valley Semillon versus (much of) the rest of the world

Save the date!
Location: IMW, 6 Riverlight Quay, London
Date: 23 January 2019
Time: Session 1, 1000 – 1300
Time: Session 2, 1500 – 1800 


Discover Alentejo, Dão and Bairrada Regions - March 2019

Portugal MW Trip We are delighted to let you know that Wines of Portugal is organising a trip to the Alentejo, Dão and Bairrada regions of Portugal from 24 to 30 March 2019. There are spaces for 20 Masters of Wine, and the hosts will be looking after all costs once you’re in Portugal. All lucky participants will need to arrive in Lisbon at some time on Sunday 24 March, and will be free to leave from Porto airport on Saturday 29 March. An administration fee of £100 will be charged for all of those on the trip. See here for further details and the draft itinerary 


Save the date: Roussillon - May 2019

Rousillon_Newsletter_2018.pngPlease also save the date for another trip, the details of which will be sent in the next week or so. CIVR, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon, is planning a trip to the region between 20 and 23 May 2019. Members will need to arrive in Perpignon on Sunday 19 May. Justin Howard-Sneyd MW is also planning an unofficial addition to the trip on 24 May, so MWs can taste wines made by other producers in Roussillon. 



California MW trip

California MW Trip GazeboA lucky group of 47 Masters of Wine have just left California after an extraordinary, generous and informative trip there. They were hosted by the California Wine Institute, and travelled from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, via the Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles, the Cupertino/Silicon Valley, Sonoma and Napa Valley. During the nine days they tasted 600+ wines, from 300+ vintners, from more than 60 AVAs, and were welcomed by some of the most revered people in the Californian wine industry. Some of the wines tasted came from the hands of their fellow MWs - Nova Cadamatre MWAmy Christine MW, Matt Deller MWPeter Marks MW, Mary Margaret McCamic MW, Martin Reyes MWNigel Sneyd MWMorgan Twain-Peterson MW and Mark de Vere MW. A full trip report will follow in the next newsletter. The trip was followed by a get-together for 30 MWs in San Francisco organised by Doug Frost MW on behalf of the IMW-NA. 

Member news

Have you explored the Members' area recently? Log in to the Members' area of the website to see job opportunities - including one for British Airways - AGM video, Council minutes, offers, discounts and more. 

Susie Barrie MW 

Susie Barrie MW presents a BBC Four Radio programme, A vintage year for homegrown wine, where she meets winemakers after the summer heatwave bring in what could be a watershed harvest for homegrown wine. Listen now

Sonal Holland MW

Sonal Holland MW is featured in an article by India's The Hindu as the country's only Master of Wine putting India on the wine map. Read the article here

Mark Pygott MW

Watch Mark Pygott MW in an interview with a Taiwan TV company, talking extensively about the IMW and the MW study programme. Mark outlines his own experiences of being a student, plus the costs involved and expectations (the video will also be made available in the student area of the website). Watch the video here 

Patrick Schmitt MW

Following a week long tour of Japan taking in key vine-growing regions Yamanashi, Nagano and Hokkaido, Patrick Schmitt MW brings a introduction to the fast-developing domestic Japanese wine industry. Read the article here 

Liam Steevenson MW

Listen to Liam Steevenson MW and food and wine writer Fiona Beckett, who host the podcast Bâttonage, which tackles intriguing topics from the world of wine on a fortnightly basis with the help of expert guests. Listen now  

Wine Masters Documentary

Tim Atkin MW and Jeannie Cho Lee MW star in the documentary series Wine Masters, which tells five stories about the origin of well-known international grape varieties and their terrior told by five French leading wine producers. The first episode Rhône, is now available where Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe Guigal talk about Syrah, Viognier and the amazing terroirs of Rhône. Watch the full documentary series now on: iTunes, winemasters.tv, Vimeo, AmazonPrime and Google Play - see the trailer on YouTube here 

Supporter news

News Supporter: Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley BankWe are pleased to announce Silicon Valley Bank has joined our international supporter community. For over 35 years, Silicon Valley Bank has provided a wide range of banking and financing services to businesses of all sizes in innovation centres around the world. In 1994 SVB’s Wine Division was founded to offer those services and strategic advice to premium vineyards and wineries. With one of the largest banking teams in the United States dedicated to the wine industry, SVB’s Wine Division has four offices in fine wine regions in the US, serving premium wine clients, primarily on the West Coast.

The IMW now has 28 Supporters from around the world, who work jointly with us to promote our mission of excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. SVB will work closely with MW students in furthering their understanding of the business of wine, a large component in the Master of Wine exam syllabus. The bank also plans to work with a number of individual Masters of Wine, to enhance the offer the bank makes to its wine industry producers and other clients. 
Read the full press release here 

Jackson Family Wines celebrates its 2015 Vérité releases

Jackson Family WinesIn October, Jackson Family Wines, a Major Supporter of the IMW, hosted a preview tasting at The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair, London to celebrate the release of its 2015 Vérité wines; La Muse, La Joie and Le Desir. Robert Parker’s scores for the wines comprised an incredible 100 points for Le Desir, 99 points for La Joie and 97 points for La Muse. After, followed a tasting of Cardinale 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2008 Comparative Tasting with Cardinale, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Vega Sicilia Unico and Sine Qua Non B20 providing a rare opportunity to taste and compare these iconic wines. The tasting was hosted by the founder and Chairman of Jackson Family Wines, Barbara Banke, her daughter Julia Jackson, the inspirational vigneron behind Vérité Pierre Seillan, and Jackson Family Wines’ Master Sommelier, Dimitri Mesnard. Patrick Schmitt MW compered proceedings. For notes on the wines and more information see: www.jacksonfamilywines.com


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