So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: July 21, 2009

Master of Wine


What is a Master of Wine?

It is a certification of profound knowledge of wine, granted by the Institute of Masters of Wine, after at least 3 years of study. It’s based in the UK, which unsurprisingly has the most Masters of Wine by a long shot. The time frame is often much longer however, as a MW (and it is abbreviated as a title after ones name) requires an encyclopedic knowledge of the wine trade. As a measure of the difficulty of attaining this certification, there are only 26 MWs currently in the US and only 275 (or 273, depending on which figure you accept) in the entire world. Another barrier to obtaining this certification is the cost of the program. A US citizen will pay a minimum of $7800 for three years ($2600 a year), and this doesn’t guarantee passage within the three year period. There are other additional and associated costs involved as well.

A potential candidate must pass at least one part of the three part testing program within three tries. Candidates must also have 5 years of experience in some facet of the wine trade.

If you see the MW listed after an author’s name, you can be assured of a total command of all aspects of the wine world. This doesn’t mean that their opinion is sacrosanct though.

This accodae isn’t to be confused with such other titles as Master Sommelier or any other such titles. There is only one Master of Wine.

For more information about the Institute or the program, go here:

Cookbook of the day – An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France


An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France: France’s Top Domains and Their Wines

by Clive Coates MW (Master of Wine)

Publisher Mitchell Beazley; illustrated edition edition (October 1, 2005)

ISBN 10: 1840009926

ISBN 13: 978-1840009927

I have the original edition of this book (2000), which has the above pictured cover. It has been updated and sports a different cover.

If you want the best view of France’s vine world, this is the ticket, albeit somewhat expensive if you buy it new. Coates covers every appellation, including Corsica, and drills down into the important characterizations of each. He highlights the important growers and négociants using a 3-star system of grading.

There are copious maps and charts, but no photographs or other illustrations (at least in the 2000 edition).

Well-written and entertaining in its rather dry and low-key fashion, this book is indispensable for any reasonable wine library. Highly recommended despite the rather high price.

Poll finds around 75% of restaurants in Memphis and Nashville will ban guns

“Walt Baker, CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association, said his group has received about 100 responses to a statewide survey of 650 restaurant owners. He said 78 percent of the respondents said they would ban guns on their premises.

Of the other 22 percent, about half were concerned that posting signs would hurt business by turning off potential customers who aren’t familiar with the law and might wonder about a restaurant’s reputation.

The percentages are about the same among Memphis restaurant owners, said Mike Miller, president of the Memphis Restaurant Association.”

Read the whole article here:

As background, the Tennessee legislature has passed the only law in the nation that specifically allows guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and bars. It allows the restaurant owner to opt out if they post a sign saying that no guns are allowed.

(Editorial comment follows):

As some have pointed out, it would have been more logical to let restaurant owners “opt-in” rather than opt-out. That way, you’d post a sign saying that guns were allowed, which seems like a more logical way to keep “the bad guys” away instead of letting the bad guys know that fewer people would presumably be armed in a given establishment. But public safety really wasn’t the gun lobby and the gun fanatics goal here, despite protestations to the contrary. This opt-out clause proves that. It also shows that the gun lobby and the legislature is willing to sacrifice public safety in order to promote an agenda. Sad.