The Ultimate Guide to Passing the Introductory Sommelier Exam and Certified Sommelier Exam

The Ultimate Guide to Passing the Introductory Sommelier Exam and Certified Sommelier Exam

I recently took the Court of Master Sommeliers Level 2: Certified Sommelier Exam at the International Culinary Center in New York and am proud to say that I can officially call myself a sommelier – I’ve been tested for wine theory, tasting skills, as well as skills in service. It has been a year and change since I started the journey from wine newbie to wine expert (can I call myself that yet? #ImposterSyndrome), and I wanted to chronicle the journey here. I hope that this post will be helpful for others who may be looking to take the exam, or who are just curious about the process in general. For some background: Most working sommeliers in New York have at least a Certified Sommelier certification. There are two more levels after Introductory and Certified: at level 3, you are an Advanced Sommelier, and at level 4, you would hold the coveted Master Sommelier title. As of today, there are only 230 Master Sommeliers in the world. The long journey to Master Sommelier begins at level 1, with the Introductory Sommelier course and exam. The Beginning: My journey officially began in December of 2014. I was traveling to Chicago weekly for work, and one day in the team room the topic of conversation shifted to “best documentaries you’ve seen lately.” My senior manager raved about this one documentary called “SOMM.” Sound familiar? SOMM chronicles the lives of four sommeliers as they prepare to take the Master Sommeliers exam, which has a ridiculous pass rate of like 5%. Stress, anxiety, drama, and good looking people makes for good television. It’s...

On Introducing Ourselves

West Coast TL;DR – I’m sarcastic. Minimalistic. Love experimenting and learning about food. INTJ. Trying to find my cooking style. Oh and according to this Buzzfeed quiz I should marry sushi. There are many ways people enter the world of cuisine. I will briefly talk about my two: Mr. Jonenson was the leader of my Cub Scout pack back in elementary school. I had lacked a father figure growing up and for those fleeting weekends we went camping he was mine. I’d be a model scout. Fun fact: Most boys are closet pyromaniacs (some not so closeted) when they are young (and most still when older). However, Mr. Jonenson loved cooking; he did, therefore I did. There’s something special about the food you eat when camping. On one hand, you are just exhausted and starving. On the other, it’s about the rituals that come into play and these are rituals that you don’t encounter anywhere else. One of the best traditions was waking up in the morning to eat oatmeal out of that brown Quaker paper packet that you were too lazy to transfer to a cup so now there is just apple cinnamon powder in one corner. You would complain together. But do it exactly the same the next time. But even more special, was dinner. Everyone had their part: the fire starters, the cooks, and the cleanup crew. It was the simple stuff that first drew me into cooking: cooking burgers in foil wraps or jambalaya in the dutch oven. I found styles, techniques, and rituals so different from my own. Not to mention, there’s the nature...