I do not know of a club that is harder to get into than the Institute of Masters of Wine (except perhaps Whites if you are female). For once, it’s not about who you know but how much.
Each year a new band of hopefuls sign up, only to fall at one of the many obstacles set them over the following years. Fewer than a third make it through to the end. You have to admire the determination of people who keep trying for up to seven years, although you may eventually question their sanity.
There was a time when friends and colleagues would ask if I was contemplating joining the happy band of wannabe MWs. I can categorically say – not for me thank you very much. Work, family and friends seem to fill every waking moment with little room to spare for the intensive studying needed to be in the running. Indeed, I know of more than a few people who have made considerable sacrifices to stay in the race.
All this is really just to say how enormously impressive it is when people do make it through the many many hurdles and are created Master of Wine.
Eight new Masters of Wine were announced last week. Our heartfelt congratulations go to all of them – in particular the four England based MWs, all of whom we know here in the office.
Mike Collier, wine consultant
Susie Barrie, freelance journalist
Tim Marson, wine buyer for some of the competition
Isabelle Legeron, educator, event organiser and television broadcaster and a very dear friend.