Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Master of Wine
Master of Wine is an internationally recognised qualification (MW) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, founded in 1955 and based in the United Kingdom. The qualification is achieved through extensive examination and dissertation, and is generally regarded in the wine industry as setting an extremely high standard.
The Institute of Masters of Wine is a non-profit organization funded by its members and by corporate sponsorship from within the wine industry. Its stated objectives are:
- To promote the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of wine;
- To uphold the highest standards within the wine industry;
- To enhance personal and professional goals in pursuing wine-related activities.
Before being allowed to enroll for the two-year program, potential candidates must persuade the Institute that they have the necessary aptitude by submitting an essay and tasting notes. In addition, they must be interviewed by, and obtain the mentoring of, an existing Master of Wine.
Candidates must sit both the theory (four papers) and practical (three blind tastings) parts of the examination in the same year. If they achieve success in only one part, however, they may attempt the remaining part in the subsequent two years. If successful at the examination stage, candidates must then write and submit a dissertation within six months of approval of a synopsis by the Institute's Education and Examination Board.
There is no doubt that the process is challenging and rigorous. The Institute states that over the seven year period up to 2000, of the 266 candidates who undertook the programme a total of 85 were successful in passing all parts of the examination and becoming Masters of Wine.
Until 1987 the examination was limited to United Kingdom wine importers, merchants and retailers. The first non-UK Master of Wine was awarded in 1988. In 2005, there were 278 members of 18 different nationalities, living in 19 countries throughout the world. Most of the 74 members living outside the UK became members since about 1990.
Today, members hold a wide range of occupations including winemakers, viticulturists, winemaking consultants, wine writers and journalists, wine educators, and wine service, restaurant and hotel management. In addition, many are involved in the purchasing, importing, distribution, sales and marketing of wine.
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