Since 1969, when the first examination was held in Vintners Hall London, around 249 candidates have earned the title Master Sommelier. There are now Master Sommeliers in the UK, USA, Germany, France, South America, Austria, China, Poland, Turkey, Australia & New Zealand.
The Master Sommelier badge indicates to your customers that you have reached the highest level of proficiency and knowledge in your profession. When selecting wines and other drinks the customer will know they can follow your advice with confidence.
The letters MS after your name will reassure an employer that you are a professional beverage manager and can control an efficient and profitable beverage service.
The Master Sommelier Diploma is open to candidates who have passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Sommelier Certificate.
The examination is similar in format and content to that of the Advanced Sommelier Certificate examinations, comprising examinations in Theoretical Knowledge, Practical Tasting and Practical Service, except knowledge which is tested by oral questioning.
The pass mark for each of the three sections is 75%.
A candidate passing one or two parts of the Diploma may retake the other part or parts in any two examinations during the following two calendar years. After this period, all three parts must be retaken.
Throughout the examination, the candidate must exhibit an exemplary standard of both technical and social skills, demonstrating the courtesy and charm of a Master Sommelier plus an ability to sell.
Members of the examining panel are nominated by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Examinations are held annually in London and the USA.
Upon completion of each three disciplines – theory, tasting and practical; with passes deemed satisfactory to the Examining panel, the candidate may be asked to become a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Upon acceptance, they will be allowed to add the letters MS (Master Sommelier) to his name for use in professional dealings.
For more rules regarding resits and performance standards required when sitting the MS Diploma.