Monday, November 5, 2018

The Court of Master Sommeliers: Who Says Cheaters Never Proctor?


My first reaction to the news that 23 new Master Sommeliers were having their letters recalled by the
Court after one of the proctors of the blind tasting exam, a Master Sommelier, was caught cheating was exactly the same as Inspector Renault's in the classic film "Casablanca" when he shuts down Rick's Cafe, "I'm shocked--shocked!--to find gambling going on in here." After which one of the croupiers hands him his winnings.

I knew I had to write about it. I have a probably unwarranted feeling that wine folks want to hear what the HoseMaster has to say about all this mess. I kicked around a dozen ideas, but finally settled on an interview with my old friend Larry Anosmia MS. I thought about Lo Hai Qu as the candidate who had the blind tasting wines information leaked to her, but that didn't quite work. She's currently not speaking to me. I originally wanted to write the entire piece in the voice of the guilty, defrocked Master Sommelier as Justice Kavanagh. That also didn't work, though I incorporated a part of it here. A famous friend suggested something along the lines of Swift's great "A Modest Proposal" where the 23 ex-Master Sommeliers become meals at Five-Star Michelin restaurants. A damned brilliant idea, but I only steal jokes, not entire premises. 

It kept coming back to Larry. So here we go. For the rest, of course, you have to jump over to Tim Atkin's great wine site (no dumbass subscription necessary). Feel free, as always, to leave your thoughts and witty remarks there. Or return here with the written portion of your exam, and I will grade accordingly. Perhaps you, too, will have a C.T. after your name. A Common Tater.


“The Court of Master Sommeliers stripping the titles from 23 of the 24 candidates who took the tainted blind wine tasting exam in order to preserve the Court’s ‘integrity,’” Larry Anosmia MS tells me, “is like Stormy Daniels announcing she’s going to erase her latest film in order to preserve her virginity.”


TIM ATKIN MW