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 (Napa Valley, Calif.)  The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas has announced the 2013 exam schedule for the Introductory and Certified Exams through December 2013. Courses and exams offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers are open to all beverage and hospitality professionals interested in pursuing the highest standards of wine service and product knowledge in a fine dining room setting.

The Introductory Sommelier Course & Exam is a fast-paced introduction to the world of wine and beverages led by Master Sommeliers. Two days of classroom-style lectures covers everything from French wine laws to classic wine producing regions to sake and beer. Students will also learn and perform the Deductive Tasting method of blind tasting from some of the best palates in the world.

Students who successfully pass the Introductory Sommelier Course & Exam are given the opportunity to sit for the Certified Sommelier Exam.   The credential as a certified sommelier shows employers that their skills have been evaluated at a high level of proficiency.

Entrance into the Advanced Sommelier Course & Examination is via a selection process conducted by the Court of Master Sommeliers. The Advanced Examination is a required step in the progress toward the Master Sommelier Diploma. Students successfully passing the Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination are eligible to be invited to sit for the Master Sommelier Diploma.

To see full exam descriptions and expectations, please see the Court of Master Sommeliers’ course and schedule overview  at www.mastersommeliers.org .

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade.   There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma.

There are 122 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 105 are men and 17 are women. There are 190 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit www.mastersommeliers.org .