quote:
Originally posted by J_bray223:
Anyone have some experience taking the course? The suggested reading books are enourmas, are there any sections to pay particular attention to? Anything you wish you'd done differently? Thanks!


you gotta put the time in if you're looking to succeed.

no shortcuts to this one, some of those questions they ask are really esoteric.
The intro course is very similar to the CSW exam.

THIS was a good intro book, but I also supplemented this with the Wine Atlas and some other research books, such as the Encyclopedia of Wine.

It is not as easy an exam as you'd expect. Also, if you fail, it must be terribly embarrassing. They bring everyone (pass and fail) into the exam room, and then call the names of those who passed. At the end, you get to do a fabulous walk of shame and congratulate all those who pass. I was sweating bullets until they called my name.

And yes, they will ask you about 1/2 easy questions, and 1/2 quite esoteric questions, and they change the test frequently. You will need to study everything.
After you register for the course you can print the course workbook, read it a few times in the months leading up to the class. This was a huge help for me, as it seemed all test questions are in that workbook. They give you a copy when you get there too. I agree having everyone waiting for test scores together with champagne in hand is a bit humbling, but study & take it seriously and you will pass.
Hey all . . . anyone have any books that you would recommend for an immersion into all things wine in preparation for this exam? I know the court publishes an extensive list of recommended reading, but interested in hearing anyone's first-hand recs. Thanks
G-man,

Put myself on the wait-list for the Boston test. But, after watching SOMM, I don't think there's any chance I could pass this yet. I'm fully immersed in the Oxford Companion picking up a lot of very specific details that are new to me. I have very little knowledge about Germany, Greece, South America (but getting better there).

Even if I get a slot off the waiting list, I likely will defer to either:
--Nov. 4-5: Hawaii test (if I can convince my wife that we "need" a random 4-day get-away
--as early next year as there is a test in the Northeast anywhere from NYC - Boston

My goal is to pass the Level II Certified Somm exam. I don't think I'll ever have time to get to Level III and I don't know if I'll ever have the level of obsession that seems necessary for IV. But, we'll see. I'll keep this posting alive with any updates in the future
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
G-man,

Put myself on the wait-list for the Boston test. But, after watching SOMM, I don't think there's any chance I could pass this yet. I'm fully immersed in the Oxford Companion picking up a lot of very specific details that are new to me. I have very little knowledge about Germany, Greece, South America (but getting better there).

Even if I get a slot off the waiting list, I likely will defer to either:
--Nov. 4-5: Hawaii test (if I can convince my wife that we "need" a random 4-day get-away
--as early next year as there is a test in the Northeast anywhere from NYC - Boston

My goal is to pass the Level II Certified Somm exam. I don't think I'll ever have time to get to Level III and I don't know if I'll ever have the level of obsession that seems necessary for IV. But, we'll see. I'll keep this posting alive with any updates in the future


heh as rude as i sound in the somm thread

drop a note if you in ny and want a tasting group

there are always a few of us getting together and make fun of our blind tasting skills
Done . . . in NYC at least twice a month (on the 6am Delta shuttle tomorrow actually), but will drop a line next time I come into town (mid August)

I will confess to having quite poor blind tasting skills except for the very obvious things. I'm hoping this is due to my relatively shallow tasting experience as reflected by a very targeted cellar and not some innate inability!

back soon
I took my test about 3 years ago in FL at the Breakers. The intro and the certified level are good to take back to back. In FL once you take the intro you can immediately sign up for the certified class. Most of the class deals with Europe and they spent about 10mins the second day going over American Wines so concentrate on Europe. It is really a very complicated geography quiz that you are taking for the written part. For the tasting exam you have to have your palate really on that day. I was getting a sinus infection when I took mine and barely passed the course. I used Wine Spectator and World Atlas of Wine as reading material to prep. They will go over a majority of the information during the classes during the 2 days but you need get a base of wine knowledge to start with. At the time I was working in a private club as the wine guru so that helped me but if you don’t work in the business or deal with wine everyday you will need to do a lot of studying on your own. For the intro course you won’t need to get in a study group. Just read either the World Atlas of Wine or Oxford Companion of Wine.
quote:
Originally posted by jglaserjr:
I took my test about 3 years ago in FL at the Breakers. The intro and the certified level are good to take back to back. In FL once you take the intro you can immediately sign up for the certified class. Most of the class deals with Europe and they spent about 10mins the second day going over American Wines so concentrate on Europe. It is really a very complicated geography quiz that you are taking for the written part. For the tasting exam you have to have your palate really on that day. I was getting a sinus infection when I took mine and barely passed the course. I used Wine Spectator and World Atlas of Wine as reading material to prep. They will go over a majority of the information during the classes during the 2 days but you need get a base of wine knowledge to start with. At the time I was working in a private club as the wine guru so that helped me but if you don’t work in the business or deal with wine everyday you will need to do a lot of studying on your own. For the intro course you won’t need to get in a study group. Just read either the World Atlas of Wine or Oxford Companion of Wine.


Thanks for the recs. Been fully immersed at Oxford Companion and included the Wine Bible for lighter reading. I assumed focus would be mostly old world, and that is in fact where I need the greatest education. Recent offlines have actually helped a great deal to put some of my text-book reading in context

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