The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas has moved to invalidate the results of the tasting portion of this year’s Diploma Examination after “clear evidence” an existing MS revealed the wines that were to be tasted in advance.
In a statement, the Board of Directors of the Court said that once the discovery was made, the only choice to preserve the integrity of the examination process, the Court and the title of Master Sommelier was to invalidate the results.
“Detailed information” about the wines in the tasting flight was found to have been released prior to the exam.
The identity of the MS involved was not revealed but they have reportedly been barred from participating in any Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas programmes or events and the Court has voted unanimously to terminate their membership and strip them of their title.
Devon Broglie MS, chairman of the board, said: “Maintaining the integrity of the examination process must be our highest priority, lest we risk diminishing the value of, and the respect earned from, becoming a Master Sommelier.
“Our credential is known throughout the hospitality industry worldwide, and it guarantees that the holder of the Master Sommelier title is among the most qualified of all wine industry professionals. A compromised examination does not provide that guarantee.”
Some 141 candidates sat the tasting examination in the US, 23 of whom passed.
Broglie continued: “We understand this decision is a shock to those who recently passed this examination, and we carefully considered the impact our decision has on our newly pinned Masters and their careers.
“We are committed to developing an expedited process so that all eligible candidates can retake the tasting examination.”