Posted: Oct 12, 2018
According to a report in Wine Searcher by Don Kavanagh (October 12, 2018). The person who shared information with the MS candidates during this past examination cycle has been revealed.
While this is not an official revelation Mr, Kavanagh reported that "the person in question is Regino "Reggie" Narito Jr., an erstwhile Master Sommelier based in San Diego."
The allegations reported, revealed that the identity of wines for the tasting portion of the exam were provided to a candidate.
According to the Court Master Sommelier (CMS) official release on (October 10, 2018); the consequences for the party providing the information to the candidate or other candidates was immediate dismissal from the court. The impact on the candidates for the that cycle was nothing less than devasting.
Since 1977 the MS' Guild have provided their professional development programs beginning in the UK and now around the world.
The candidates for the the various levels (MS Level 1 through the MS itself) go through a primarily autodidactic preparation with mentoring, followed by vetting by the CMS organization to allow each candidate into each level they aspire to.
The examination at the various proficiency levels include a review day(s) followed by a multiple choice and fill in the blank portion, a practical service portion, and a blind tasting portion. At the MS level the candidates arrive for their examinations: (An oral theory exam, a practical service examination, and a blind tasting oral examination).
At every level, the team of examiners grade the examinations and then provide each candidate with their pass or fail outcome.
According to Wine Searcher:
"On his blog, Narito specifically mentioned the MS exam, which was held in September in St Louis. "We had an historic pass rate of 24 new Master Sommeliers, the largest in the history of the Court..." he wrote. "Of the 24 passing candidates, four were students of mine.
Of the 24 candidates, 23 sat the tasting exam that was annulled. It is understood the list of wines to be tasted was leaked to just one person."
A spokesperson for the court said there was no new information today and declined to make any comment when asked about Narito, except to say: "The board has not offically named anyone at this stage."
This is a momentous time for the candidates (who have spent great resources to grow their career through this certification), those considering entering the program, and the CMS itself. According to the Wine Searcher report, at least one of the disqualified candidates will not be retaking the exam.
Is it time for the CMS to establish a criteria for the education and examination methodology which separates the invigilators, admissions, and reviewers from the candidates?
By Go-Wine.com October 12, 2018
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