Home Industry News Releases Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Welcomes Twenty-Four New Masters to Its Prestigious...

Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas Welcomes Twenty-Four New Masters to Its Prestigious Ranks


Years of preparation finally pay off for the twenty-four newest members of the Court of Master Sommeliers

ST LOUIS, MO (September 5, 2018) –The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas ™ welcomes 24 new members to the organization: Tyler Alden of Heavy Restaurant Group/Purple Cafe & Wine Bar in Seattle, WA; Scott Barber of Green Pin Wines, LLC in St. in Helena, CA; Peter Bothwell of Continuum Estate in New York, NY; Dana Gaiser of Lauber Imports in New York, NY; Morgan Harris of Saison Hospitality in San Francisco, CA; Andrey Ivanov of Bliss Wine Imports in San Francisco, CA; Maximilian Kast of Broadbent Selections in Chapel Hill, NC; Douglas Kim of Piccaso in Las Vegas, NV; James Lechner of Bastille/Stoneburner in Seattle, WA; Jane Lopes of Attica in Ripponlea, VIC; Steven McDonald of Pappas Brothers Steakhouse in Houston, TX; Vincent Morrow of One 65 in San Francisco, CA; Elton Nichols of Canlis in Seattle, WA; Robert Ord of Treasury Wine Estate in Napa, CA; Joshua Orr of Epic Wines and Spirits in San Diego, CA; Daniel Pilkey of Paul Hobbs Winery in Chicago, IL; Christopher Ramelb of Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits in Honolulu, HI; Steven Robinson of Atelier Restaurant in Ottawa, ON ; Justin Timsit of Martine’s Wines in Los Angeles, CA; Mia Van de Water of Eleven Madison Park in New York, NY; Greg Van Wagner of Jimmy’s and Jimmy’s Bodega in Aspen, CO; Steven Washuta of The Pool in New York, NY; Jessica Waugh of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in Las Vegas, NV; and Jill Zimorski a Champagne Specialist for Moet Hennessy Portfolio in Chicago, IL.

Held at the Four Seasons Resort in St. Louis, Missouri from September 3rd – 5th, the invitation-only Master Sommelier Diploma Examination was attempted by 141 individuals from 23 states and three countries. The results were announced at the Krug Reception where new Master Sommelier, Greg Van Wagner, was also awarded with the coveted Krug Cup by passing all three sections of the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination with the highest aggregate score on his first attempt.

“This was, without doubt, the most successful Master Sommelier Diploma Examination the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas has ever administered,” said Devon Broglie, MS, Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. “We commend the efforts of all candidates who attempted the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination this year and continue to be inspired by their passion and dedication to the hospitality industry. The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination is extremely demanding.  After years of rigorous preparation, these twenty-four professionals have demonstrated the highest level of excellence within the hospitality industry with their exemplary service skill, beverage knowledge, and deductive tasting ability. On behalf of the Court of Master Sommeliers, I am thrilled to welcome these 24 new members with our most sincere congratulations.”

The Master Sommelier Diploma is the highest distinction a professional can attain in the beverage service industry. The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination consists of three sections: a verbal theory examination, a blind tasting of six wines in 25 minutes, and a practical service component that focuses on restaurant beverage service and salesmanship. Candidates must receive passing scores in each category in order to earn the highly coveted title of Master Sommelier. 


The Court of Master Sommeliers sets the global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry with integrity, exemplary knowledge, and humility.

The Court was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter.

There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Examination; 2) Certified Sommelier Examination; 3) Advanced Sommelier Examination and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma Examination. There are 182 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 153 are men and 29 are women. Two hundred and seventy-three professionals worldwide have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit www.mastersommeliers.org.

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