Three Americans earned the prestigious Master Sommelier designation this year after passing the tough exam administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Kevin Vogt, wine director for Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian resort and casino in Las Vegas, received the title at the exam given in Orlando by the American chapter of the sommelier group. Ron Mumford, of liquor distributor Southern Wine and Spirits in Las Vegas, and Elizabeth Schweitzer, with the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, both took the exam in England.
There are now 40 Master Sommeliers in the United States, out of 95 in the world. Of the Americans, 32 are men and eight are women.
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage higher standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The Master Sommelier designation is the culmination of a series of courses, recognizing the highest abilities in wine, liquor and beverage service. To earn the diploma, candidates must pass an exam with three parts: theory, tasting and practical service. Once candidates pass one portion of the exam for the first time, they have two years, or two attempts, to pass the remaining sections.