CMS Training Workshop

  • Celia Hay

Cameron Douglas MS and Andrea Martinisi shared their knowledge on how to prepare for the Court of Master Sommeliers Certifications at a practical workshop.  With candidates travelling from Dunedin, Christchurch and Hawkes Bay to join the Auckland candidates, this is the first time since 2019 that CMS has run in New Zealand.

Is a wine pretty or delicate?

Does it have muscle or power? 

How should you taste wine to optimise the aromas? Cameron advised that when you breathe in to smell a wine you want to move your nose to the rim edge to the centre of the glass while you reflect on the different aromas. You need to give a wine time to show and for the aromas to appear.

'When you first taste a wine, you should hold it in your mouth for 30 seconds and then "mouthwash" until it hurts.

'This will help determine the structure of the wine, the sweetness, the acidity, the tannins. Are the tannins from the grape skins, the stalks or oak?

'There are many questions that you need to ask yourself with CMS Deductive Wine Tasting method,' comments Cameron.

Cameron went on to say that

'The practical CMS Certified Exam is about how you work the floor.

'You need to be natural but also fast and efficient.

'Candidates need to listen carefully to instructions from the assessors.

'When you are nervous, it is important to keep breathing as this will help you over-come any shaking of glasses, bottles and even your hands.'

Karan Patyal, from the Northern Club who recently returned from Melbourne, where the gained the Introductory and Certified Sommelier Certificate, also shared some advice about his experience.

View details of the CMS Introductory course content here. This will be held in Auckland from Sunday 17 September - Tuesday 19  September. See the full prospectus here.

The course is run over two days with the examinations held on the morning of the third day.

  • elementary practices in the vineyard and winemaking procedures.
  • the grape varieties, origins, specific winemaking procedures and classifications for all the major wines of the world.
  • the production, raw materials and flavours of Spirits and liqueurs.
  • technical skills of wine service.
  • importance of social skills.
  • fundamentals of matching wines with food.
  • an introduction to the skills of wine tasting.


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