By Ben Heskett
SAN FRANCISCO -- I sent out a quick tweet after I recently saw SOMM, a documentary film about the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Master Sommelier exam, but I thought it worthwhile to offer a couple of further thoughts. As someone who is trying to carve out the time to study and successfully complete the Certified Sommelier exam at some point this year or next (the second level in the exam series), the Master Sommelier exam is beyond my reach, my palate, and my overall capabilities.
I would suggest, however, that the documentary is a worthwhile use of two hours of your time, and I found myself wondering if the publicity associated with the endeavor will forever alter this most prestigious and difficult of exams. My sense is the organization will adapt accordingly, so that the Master Sommelier exam retains its exclusivity. But I also wonder how many aspirants will now devote countless months of their lives preparing for the exams, no matter the talent.
These are interesting questions to track as the years go by. Will we continue to hear that one or two Master Sommelier exam takers have passed? Or will the documentary usher in an era in which the volume of exam takers will possibly result in more that pass. Given the historical statistics, I hope not, but it’s worth watching. And so is the movie – A wonderful view of just how crazy some “cork dorks” can be. Check it out and feel free to check in with your thoughts...on the documentary and the exam.