That’s True With Wine Too.
Spending time with your kid is great, and when you both love wine it’s even better. Not too long ago, my son Chris came to visit and the highlight of the week included talking wine credentials. Much of the visit with Chris included him showing off his new CMS level
1 pin. He was very proud to join in that fine organization. Here’s why this new swag badge means so much.
CMS is the Court of Master Sommeliers, the worldwide organization that is recognized as the standard
in wine education. Founded in 1969 in Britain, the US chapter opened in April 1986. The goal is to
provide education to all, but more specifically to the restaurant and hospitality sectors. There are 4
levels to CSM certifications:
- Level 1 – Introductory Open to anyone with several years of experience in the restaurant/hotel
industry. This course is about the basics of winemaking, the regions of winemaking around the world,
different grape varieties, pairing wine with food and basic beer, spirits and sake knowledge. The course
is 2 days and includes multiple choice questions, serving technique, and introduction to deductive
- Level 2 – Certified Sommelier This is a more in-depth course that covers wine theory, wine service and
has 2 blind tastings. The pass rate is about 60%.
- Level 3 – Advanced Sommelier After passing the level 2 course, you will need around 2 years of study
and practice to take the level 3 course. This test is a blind tasting of 6 wines, much more in-depth short
answer questions and serious service proficiency. The pass rate is 30%.
- Level 4 – Master Sommelier As you can imagine, this isn’t easy. Since the inception over 40 years
ago, only 230 people in the world have achieved this great honor. This three-part exam covers all regions
of the world. You need at least 10 to 15 years in the industry to be prepared. The other part is that you
can’t pass the blind tasting of specific wines without having tasted them in the first place. Count on
spending at least a quarter of a million dollars on wine to get your palette the knowledge it needs. There
is a less than 10% pass rate.
Now here is the best part. Wine like art is only up to you. Drink what you enjoy, what fills your soul,
what makes you feel alive. Enjoy wine with people that you love sharing life with… it won’t matter what
Until next time… Cheers!
Tim Ruys is the operating partner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Have questions about wine? Email Tim at: