Sure, you can identify a buttery white wine as a Chardonnay. But are you enough of a wine aficionado to pass the 2022 Master of Wine exam? The test is notorious for being one of the most rigorous exams of any industry in the world.
The full test from the July iteration was released Wednesday on the Institute of Masters of Wine’s website. Questions ranged from theory to hot topics in the industry today, such as natural wine label regulations (and whether they are necessary). Questions also tested examinees’ knowledge of industry innovations.
Test your own knowledge by reviewing the questions below:
- How is artificial intelligence being used within the wine industry and what might its impact be in the coming decades?
- Glyphosate use is coming under increasing scrutiny. Should it be banned in modern viticulture?
- Which diseases of the vine are the greatest threat to vineyards around the world today, and why?
- What effects do vineyard pests have on grape quality, and how do grape growers control them?
- To what extent does the geology of a vineyard affect the way it is managed?
- As a viticulturist, what factors would influence your approach to growing cover crops in a vineyard?
- What factors affect the timing of pruning in vineyards around the world?
- Explain the process of malolactic fermentation in winemaking. How, why and when is it employed?
- How can a winemaker ensure consistency in a wine’s style over a number of years?
- What are the main technical issues a wine producer should consider when evaluating a change from bottling still wines at source to shipping them in bulk for bottling in the destination market?
- ‘Post-maturation wine stabilization practices should be used only on low-end wines.’ Discuss.
- How has the global coronavirus pandemic impacted consumer wine purchasing behaviors? Use examples from at least three significant markets to illustrate your answer.
- Who or what are the most important influencers of consumer behavior in today’s world of wine?
- Does anyone still need wine writers?
- Which are the most attractive markets for premium Italian wines, and why?
- Assess the main challenges and opportunities for the wine education industry around the globe in the next ten years.
- Are biodynamic practices the key to more sustainable wine production?
Each Master of Wine exam session lasts several days and includes several sections.
The first occurs over a one-day period, including both a blind tasting session of 12 wines and a written exam on theory. If the students pass, they move on to the second stage’s theory, practical exams, and blind-tasting sessions. The final step of gaining a Master of Wine certification is a written research paper.
In addition to short answer and essay questions, examinees identified wine types through a tasting of a total 36 wines over the testing period. These tasting sessions included similar wines such as Rosé Champagne and Brut Rosé from Crémant de Bourgogne. Other wines featured in the tasting were Tokaji Aszú from Hungary and a Merlot from Chile.
A total of 103 students took the exam, hosted from July 26 – 29 in London, Napa, and Adelaine.
During the first round of Master of Wine exams in 1956, only six out of 21 candidates passed. An archive of test questions, dating back to 2010, is available on the Institute of Masters of Wine’s website. There’s a sole total of 418 Masters of Wine worldwide, proving that only a select group of students pass the complicated test.
If you’re interested in testing your vino knowledge, this year’s exam questions and wine list is available online. Among the questions in the second part of the test is, “Does anyone still need wine writers?”
Here at VinePair, we’d respond with a resounding yes.