What is a Master of Wine?

The "Master of Wine" is the wine trade's most famous and demanding professional qualification.

The examination consists of four written papers, three practical (wine tasting) papers, and a dissertation, testing candidates on subjects as diverse as vinification, viticulture, the history of wine, and knowledge of wine markets around the world.

Masters of Wine are probably best known for their wine tasting ability and so it is not surprising that they are in much demand for wine buying positions in all sectors of the wine business. The pass rate for the examination is notoriously low. The first candidates passed in 1953, when 6 were successful, but there are still only 250 Masters of Wine in the world.

Most Masters of Wine work in the British wine trade, but the exam is now sat in Sydney and North America as well as in London, and an increasing number of successful candidates are now from outside the UK.

The Institute of Masters of Wine is based in London. It is committed to providing an exceptional level of wine education to those involved in the wine business and also to promoting excellence in wine throughout the world.

For more information about the Institute, take a look at the IMW website.


©2000-2006 Richard Bampfield MW