So You Want To Be A Waiter

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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:

One response to “Master of Wine

  1. waiterextraordinaire July 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I did the International Sommelier Guild which was pretty intensive as well. It was great fun and learning experience.

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